The San Diego Padres came into the 2023 season with expectations of winning the World Series. They were three wins shy of a pennant last season and added Xander Bogaerts and Fernando Tatis Jr. to this team that was also getting Josh Hader and Juan Soto for a full season. The Padres seemed destined to make another deep run in October, but have found themselves being the most disappointing team in baseball.
At 44-50, the Padres are 10.0 games back in the NL West and are 8.0 games back of the final Wild Card spot. Eight games isn't an insurmountable deficit, especially for a team as talented as this one, but they haven't clicked all season. Just when it looked like they were clicking before the break, they wound up losing three of four in Philadelphia and have a three-game series against the surging Blue Jays on the horizon.
The smart thing to do (barring an unexpected crazy run before the deadline) is to sell. That doesn't mean to trade Tatis and everybody, but it does mean guys on expiring contracts should be moved. Blake Snell is one of those players. So many teams will be looking for starting pitching, and Snell could easily be the best name not named Shohei Ohtani available.
1) Padres trade destination for Blake Snell: Houston Astros
Astros General Manager Dana Brown made is abundantly clear that the Astros number one priority at the trade deadline is to add a starting pitcher. With there being virtually no chance the Angels trade Shohei Ohtani to their division rivals, Snell might just be the best option they've got.
The Astros need for a starting pitching wasn't expected entering this season, but injuries to Lance McCullers Jr., Luis Garcia, and Jose Urquidy has Houston in desperate need of another arm. Urquidy will be back, but McCullers Jr. and Garcia are done for the year.
J.P. France has solidified himself nicely as a fifth starter to go along with Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, and Hunter Brown, but that fourth starter is still unoccupied. France has made 12 career starts, it's fairly obvious Houston doesn't envision him being in their postseason rotation.
Snell is a battle tested pitcher who has pitched in a World Series before back in 2020 with the Rays. He's known for being pulled early despite cruising in an elimination game which the Rays blew following his departure.
Houston wants to win and pitching is their biggest priority. They don't need a pitcher with team control, they just need someone to help this season with so many pitchers hurt.