There's no rest for the weary, and apparently there's no rest for A.J. Preller, either.
Preller, the San Diego Padres general manager, has made two blockbuster trades in less than 24 hours.
On Sunday, the Padres made a deal with the Tampa Rays for starting pitcher Blake Snell. Monday, the Padres did it again, this time with the Chicago Cubs, for starting pitcher Yu Darvish.
Both trades are awaiting final approval from Major League Baseball, but both have been agreed upon and are expected to be finalized soon.
Darvish, 34, is in the middle of six-year, $126 million contract he signed with the Cubs prior to the 2018 season. Darvish is a proven, veteran starting pitcher who's coming off a strong 2020 season, compiling a 2.01 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP in 76 innings, finishing second in NL Cy Young Award voting to Trevor Baurer.
In addition to Darvish, the Padres also received his personal catcher, Victor Caratini in the trade.
In exchange, the Cubs will receive pitcher Zach Davies, 27, who has a lifetime 3.79 ERA , left-handed-hitting outfielder Owen Caissie, the Padres’ second-round pick in the 2020 draft; minor-league infielders Yeison Santana and Reginald Preciado; and left-handed-hitting outfielder Ismael Mena. None of the players headed to Chicago were considered among the elite Padre minor league prospects.
Just a few days ago, the Padres' starting pitching, ravaged by injuries in 2020, was thought to be an area that needed to be addressed. In the last two days, the Padres have addressed that in a major way, so much so that the Padres rotation could be among baseball's best. In addition to Darvish and Snell, the Padres starting pitchers include Dinelson Lamet, Chris Paddack and, potentially, MacKenzie Gore.
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Also on Monday, the Padres reportedly agreed to terms with international free agent and Korean baseball star Ha-seong Kim.