Amid reported interest in trading for Yu Darvish, the San Diego Padres quickly pivoted to work out an agreement with the Tampa Bay Rays to acquire Blake Snell. Just as surprise of the trade was setting in, it was reported the Padres could still add Darvish once it was all said and done.
Several hours later, the Cubs and Padres reportedly reached a deal. San Diego tapped into a talented farm system in order to add both hurlers, and many have questioned the Cubs’ return for Darvish. Particularly with indications Chicago is paying for a portion of his remaining salary.
Tampa Bay — like in the past — are believed to have received a haul in exchange for Snell, who is under team control for three seasons.
As evaluations of the Padres’ moves are being made league-wide, Los Angeles Dodgers free agent Alex Wood offered his own reaction and commentary on social media.
— Alex Wood (@Awood45) December 28, 2020
Padres are not messing around lol! Being on the personnel side of things and being a baseball fan in general it’s always awesome seeing teams go for it. ITS WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT!
— Alex Wood (@Awood45) December 29, 2020
The Padres are coming off a postseason appearance for the first time since 2006. Some of their momentum heading into next season was interrupted with news of Mike Clevinger requiring Tommy John surgery that will sideline him until 2022.
While San Diego has seemingly improved, they nonetheless will face a formidable challenge in the National League West. The Dodgers have won the division in each of the past eight seasons and don’t appear ripe to be unseated.
Of course, should the Padres manage to capture the NL West, it wouldn’t necessarily be time for the Dodgers to panic anyhow. While manager Dave Roberts and players have acknowledged that as being an annual goal, the team undeniably is more focused on the bigger picture with the postseason.
Furthermore, the value of winning the NL West was particularly diminished this year, as home-field advantage was erased with the postseason being played in bubbles.
Dodgers not fond of expanded postseason
In addition to the playoffs not taking place at home ballparks after the Wild Card round, multiple Dodgers players voiced their opposition to an expanded postseason field. It may return in 2021, though MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has acknowledged 16 teams reaching October baseball was more than ideal.
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