Why the Rays traded Blake Snell

The Tampa Bay Rays might be one of the most forward-thinking organizations in sports. Erik Neander, their GM, runs the team with the 28th largest payroll in the game (2020). With $67M, the Rays made it to the World Series and competed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team with the second-largest payroll in the game at $191M. With the offseason approaching, the Rays had some tough decisions to make regarding payroll. With arbitration, total player salaries tend to rise, and with a small-market team like the Rays, this does result in cuts being made to appease the ownership group. A small market team’s success is sometimes medicated on the payroll allocation. In other words, for a small market team to be successful, they must be very diligent in how they divide up their payroll among a 26 man roster. In 2020 the rays allocated 33% of their payroll to two pitchers, Charlie Morton and Blake Snell. With the departure of these two pitchers prior to the start of the 2021 season, this will free up over 25.5 million dollars. This enabled the rays to reallocate their budget and build a pipeline of young talent to help their team. They did that by getting Luis Patino from the Padres. Patino is a 21-year-old pitcher who possesses a 3 pitch-mix currently ranked as MLB’s 23rd ranked prospect. Patino is a guy many see as a clear cut number 2 starter. With Snell due over $10.5M this season and scaling up to $16M in 2023, the trade had to happen for the team's team's long-term future. With a top of the rotation of potentially Tyler Glasnow, Ryan Yarbrough, Luis Patino, along with a farm system full of potential in Brent Honeywell, Shane McClanaha, and Josh Fleming. The Rays oversee a great deal of potential, and with some savvy trades and/or free-agent signings, they’ll be competing again in 2021.


Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Charles St. Clair

Aspiring Baseball Analyst. Studying Mathematics at Hofstra University. Student Manager for Hofstra Baseball.