In the biggest blockbuster of the offseason so far, Blake Snell has been traded to San Diego. What does this mean for the Brewers?
Well that was something. Late on a Sunday evening, news broke that the Rays were trading their ace Blake Snell to the San Diego Padres for a package of four prospects, including one previously thought to be untouchable. Despite this trade not including the Brewers, what kind of impact will this blockbuster have on them?
Despite many fans wanting Blake Snell to come to the Brewers, knowing what the price was to acquire him makes it all the more obvious why Snell isn’t in Milwaukee. The Brewers simply didn’t have the talent within their farm system to make this trade happen while the Padres are overloaded with prospects after years of tanking.
While Snell isn’t going to be in a Brewers uniform, this still has some major impact on the Crew.
1. The Road To The World Series Got Tougher
A former Cy Young winner is headed from the American League to the National League. The Padres, who started to become quite the formidable opponent in 2020, have now gotten even stronger and their rotation is to be feared going forward.
That’s going to make it even tougher for the Brewers to make it to the World Series during this competitive window. Anything can happen in a five or seven game series, but the Padres will be a tough out in the postseason.
Now, not only will the Brewers have to possibly fight through the Dodgers, but also the Padres. Both teams are going to battle for the NL West title next year and it appears, at least on paper right now, the road to the World Series for the National League runs through California, either San Diego or Los Angeles.
To compete, the Brewers will need to add to their offense and fix the corner infield situation. As nice as adding an ace like a Trevor Bauer would be, that’s not likely to happen. The Brewers pitching staff has been developing into a very strong group that’s formidable in it’s own right.
2. Tougher For Corbin Burnes/Brandon Woodruff To Win NL Cy Young
Yes, this is the first place my head went after hearing that Snell was traded to the Padres. Snell is an ace that has previously won the Cy Young award. Now that he’s in the NL, that’s one more competitor for Corbin Burnes or Brandon Woodruff to outpitch in order to win the Brewers’ first Cy award since 1982.
When Trevor Bauer was traded from the Indians to the Reds, that made it more difficult for Burnes to win, especially considering Bauer actually won the award in 2020. Even if Bauer signs with an AL team this winter, the addition of Snell to the league means it won’t be any easier on Burnes or Woodruff to win that award for the Crew.
3. Padres Not A Likely Destination For Josh Hader?
Back at the August trade deadline, the Padres were one of the teams that were very interested in acquiring Josh Hader. The price was a little too steep for them, and they went with a rental instead. But with the opening popping back up this offseason, there was a chance the Padres would try again.
As they’ve said, the Padres have plenty of prospects and not enough places to put them all, so they were looking to trade some and get a big player or two in return.
While still deep, the top of the Padres system has been thinned out a little bit by the Snell trade and some of those prospects who went for Snell would’ve been candidates to go in a package for Hader as well. Now there are fewer options to choose from for the Brewers and the Padres have less of an urgency to trade away more of their remaining prospects.
The Padres have made their blockbuster acquisition and going after Hader is more of a luxury than it was before and isn’t really as much of a need.
If the Padres were really feeling like it, they could still land Hader with a package David Stearns would deem suitable, but will they feel like it? After getting Snell, I’d guess that’s leaning towards a ‘no’ right now.
With the Dodgers already acquiring Corey Knebel and the Padres now making this blockbuster, that takes out a couple of potential top suitors for Josh Hader and makes it more likely that Hader stays in a Brewers uniform in 2021.
It’s a big move for baseball that should help drum up some excitement for the offseason, but the Brewers still have some moves to make of their own.