The Tampa Bay Rays received a massive haul in exchange for LHP Blake Snell. The Texas Rangers would be wise to learn from this trade.
With former Texas Rangers lieutenant AJ Preller in San Diego’s front office, we can certainly understand the Padres’ propensity for making big splashes, seeing as Texas has made a few themselves this off-season.
San Diego just pulled another trick out of their hat on Sunday, acquiring lefty Blake Snell in a blockbuster deal with the Tampa Bay Rays for a prospect haul highlighted by young hurler Luis Patino, among others.
Snell is coming off a grand performance in the 2020 World Series, which Tampa lost to the LA Dodgers in six games (played at Globe Life Field!).
The 28-year-old lefty is also a former AL Cy Young Award winner, having taken home the hardware for best pitcher back in 2018 when he led the league in wins and ERA as well as being selected to the All-Star team that season.
The Tampa Bay Rays are known for their elite player development system, which consistently pumps out young, high-end talent while finding others in trades.
Specifically, they do this on the pitching end. And that’s where the Texas Rangers should take notes.
Pitching is a commodity in baseball these days, especially as we live in an era where power hitters and strikeouts reign supreme.
The Texas Rangers have struggled to develop much pitching on their own as of late.
When was the last time Texas had a true, homegrown ace as the anchor of their pitching staff? Kenny Rogers? CJ Wilson? (We don’t count Charlie Hough, Kevin Brown, Nolan Ryan or Yu Darvish since none of them fit under the “homegrown” umbrella).
The point is, it’s been a while. Perhaps too long.
And when you do hit on some homegrown pitching, the dividends can pay off for an organization on the field, as well as on the trade market.
For the Rangers, Dane Dunning has a chance to be great, but the team didn’t develop him. He came ready made.
So did the recently signed Kohei Arihara.
Tampa is perennially successful because of their ability to maximize on talent while cheap and trading those players for more depth when they become expensive, continuing a cycle that results in the Rays maintaining some sort of consistent relevancy.
The Texas Rangers need to learn from this model if they are to become successful year in and year out.
Of course, when the Rangers are at their best, they need not enact payroll restrictions, as they have shown a capacity to spend when the time is right.
Still, the Blake Snell trade provides a perfect template from which to use and inform Texas’ own rebuild. Now the team should use it and aspire to become a talent and development factory of their own.