- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The San Diego Padres mean business this offseason, making a flurry of moves this week to position themselves as a major contender heading into the 2021 season.

The latest came Monday when the Padres reportedly acquired right-hander Yu Darvish in a trade with the Cubs, sending four prospects and right-hander Zach Davies to Chicago. Darvish pitched to a 2.01 ERA in the shortened 2020 campaign after compiling back-to-back seasons with ERAs at or above 3.98 for the Cubs. He was a runner-up for the 2020 National League Cy Young award.

The 34-year-old is another weapon in a rotation suddenly blossoming with talent, even after losing Mike Clevinger for the 2021 season as the pitcher undergoes elbow reconstruction surgery.

A day before news of Darvish’s trade broke, San Diego also made a move Sunday for left-hander Blake Snell, the former Tampa Bay Rays ace. Snell won the American League Cy Young award in 2018 and a key part in leading the Rays to the World Series. The Snell deal was announced Tuesday. The Rays received right-handers Luis Patiño and Cole Wilcox and catchers Francisco Mejía and Blake Hunt.

Those two pitchers help bolster the rotation and provide more support for a lineup littered with top-tier hitters.

Snell went 4-1 with a 3.24 ERA in 11 starts during the pandemic-shortened 2020 regular season, then went 2-2 with a 3.03 ERA in six postseason starts for the American League champions.

“This team can play and we’re going to be chasing a World Series, which is obviously the most exciting piece to this whole thing,” Snell said.

The Padres have third baseman Manny Machado and shortstop Fernando Tatis. They also reportedly signed infielder Ha-Seong Kim, a star from the Korean Baseball Organization, where he hit .306 with 30 home runs and 109 RBI for the Kiwoom Heroes.

There had been little movement around the league for much of the offseason, but the Padres aren’t sitting back.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.



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