Another team with pitching depth
The old baseball adage, “you can never have too much pitching” pretty much always rings true, and that’s been the case for the Blue Jays so far in 2022. As I’ve already said, they have needs in the bullpen and in the rotation, so I thought I would stick with that theme.
Another team with very strong depth in their rotation is the San Diego Padres, and if I’m playing video game GM here, I could see a swap lining up that would work for both them and the Blue Jays. Here’s what I would propose:
Blue Jays receive:
I know what you’re thinking, and I realize that Snell hasn’t been the same ace-level performer that many of us remember from his days with the Tampa Bay Rays. That doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t still offer an upgrade to the current Blue Jays rotation, and I probably don’t have to remind you that Hernandez has disappointed this year relative to the standard he set over the last two seasons.
This could also work for both sides as far as the contract commitment is concerned. Snell is a 29 year old that will be a free agent after the 2023 campaign who makes 13.1 million against the Padres payroll this year, and 16.6 million next year. Hernandez is also 29 years old, is making 10.65 million this season, and will likely see a similar raise and pay range to what Snell is slated to make, so they lined up pretty well that way.
This would leave the Padres with a rotation that includes Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, Sean Manaea, Mike Clevinger, and Mackenzie Gore. Admittedly there are names on that list that I’d rather see the Blue Jays pursue, but I’m not sure that’s very feasible for a Padres team that is looking to make the postseason this year and for the next several seasons. All three of Musgrove, Manaea, and Clevinger will be free agents after the 2022 season as well, so at least Snell comes with matching contract control to Hernandez.
Do I think this one is going to happen? I have to admit that it’s a pretty big long shot as well, and it would likely require the Blue Jays to look for another outfield bat to help make up for Hernandez’s loss. The Padres could use some better production from their corner outfielders, so I do think there’s a fit here, it’s just hard to say if either team would seriously consider it.