Blake Snell, left, with catcher Wilson Ramos in 2018. Photo credit: Keith Allison, via Wikimedia Commons

The San Diego Padres are working on a deal to send prospects to the Tampa Bay Rays for starting pitcher Blake Snell, according to ESPN and The Athletic.

The Padres are set to trade the highly touted young pitcher Luis Patiño, along with Francisco Mejía, Blake Hunt and Cole Wilcox to obtain the rights to Snell, The Athletic reported (paywall).

Snell, 28, won the American League Cy Young Award two years ago.

That year, Snell posted a 1.89 ERA and a 21-5 record. In his five seasons with the Rays, he has gone 42-30 with a 3.24 ERA.

According to ESPN, the Padres have also considered trades for Yu Darvish of the Chicago Cubs and Sonny Gray of the Cincinnati Reds.

The Padres’ rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, won the World Series this year, and Snell figured prominently in the deciding game.

Snell started Game 6 of the series and dominated the Dodgers, leading 1-0 when his manager, Kevin Cash, turned to the bullpen in the sixth inning.

The Dodgers quickly scored two runs and won the game to take the series 4 games to 2, leading to widespread debate about Cash’s decision.

The Padres aggressively pursued trades at the 2020 mid-season deadline, capping the effort by obtaining Mike Clevinger from the Cleveland Indians in hopes of bolstering their fast rise in the National League West.

They made an impression, beating the St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs, only to be swept by the Dodgers in the Division Series.

If they complete the trade for Snell, he’ll join starter Dinelson Lamet, who put himself in the conversation for the National League Cy Young Award in 2020. Clevinger, though effective, fell victim to injury and will miss the 2021 season.

– Staff reports