The San Diego Padres made some blockbuster moves this week, trading for Yu Darvish and Blake Snell. Those moves should make them 2021 postseason locks.
These could be franchise-changing moves for the Padres. Things finally came together for them in 2020. Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado played at an MVP caliber level. Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers finally started to play to their contracts. Newcomers Trent Grisham and Jake Cronenworth had fantastic Padres debut campaigns. Dinelson Lamet evolved into one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. They added Mike Clevinger, Austin Nola and Trevor Rosenthal at the trade deadline.
And most importantly, they returned to the postseason for the first time since 2006. Had Lamet and Clevinger not been injured just before the playoffs started, the Padres may very well have knocked the eventual champion Los Angeles Dodgers out in the NLDS.
The Padres contention window is wide open. So while nearly every team in the league was pinching pennies due to lost fan revenue, GM AJ Preller added two more Cy Young caliber pitchers with multiple years of control. I mean, just look at how stacked Padres pitching will be for the next two years.
Darvish and Snell take this team from World Series potential to World Series favorites. They can legitimately compete with the Dodgers for the NL West division title. They may not be able to win it over 162 games. But in a five game division series, I’d put my money on the team with the electric offense behind Darvish, Snell and Lamet. Even if that series went to a game four, the Padres would be choosing between Chris Paddack and top pitching prospect MacKenzie Gore before turning it back to Darvish, Snell or Lamet for game five. It will not be easy to match their offense production against this rotation.
This team is a legitimate contender. And it’s a wonderful time to be a fan of the San Diego Padres.