White Sox roster move proves Yankees need Rays to make more trades with Padres

Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays
Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

Have the Tampa Bay Rays been kryptonite'd by the San Diego Padres and AJ Preller? If Preller's stay on the West Coast doesn't last much longer because of all the turmoil in San Diego, perhaps Brian Cashman should bring him aboard in the New York Yankees' front office.

Why? Because we've never seen another executive flat out win a trade with the Rays (and then proceed to pound them into the dirt).

Though the moves that were made haven't exactly propelled the Padres to World Series contention -- that 2022 NLCS berth was a fun ride -- Preller's dealings have clearly had the upper hand over Tampa.

It started with the Jake Cronenworth deal. Back in 2019, The Padres acquired Cronenworth and Tommy Pham for Hunter Renfroe and shortstop prospect Xavier Edwards. You know who came out on top in that one.

And then we had the Blake Snell trade almost exactly a year later. The Pads acquired Snell and sent prospects Luis Patiño (the headliner), Cole Wilcox, Blake Hunt and Francisco Mejia to the Rays. Not only was Patiño jettisoned during the 2023 season as he continued to flounder, but even the lowly White Sox just gave up on him. They saw enough after seven games.

White Sox roster move proves Yankees need Rays to make more trades with Padres

The Padres essentially traded nothing for Cronenworth and Snell -- two players that were instrumental in their growth from 2019 until now. Yes, San Diego has largely been disappointing, but that's perhaps a result of larger organizational dysfunction and not player performance.

Cronenworth is a two-time All-Star and finished second in the 2020 Rookie of the Year voting. He had a down year in 2023 which has caused many to criticize his contract extension, but he remains a good, versatile defender and promising lefty bat. Nobody would be disappointed with him on their roster.

As for Snell, the Rays' objective here was shipping out his money. He was owed $39 million from 2021-2023. The Padres said, "Sure, we'll take an ace-caliber arm for $13 million a year!" and reaped the benefits. Snell won the Cy Young this past season and (probably) finished his Padres career with a 3.15 ERA, 3.36 FIP and 1.23 WHIP across 83 starts.

To most teams, that's definitely worth a package of four prospects. And it'd still be acceptable even if two of those prospects panned out to be solid major leaguers. The Padres felt absolutely no loss from this trade and still had enough ammo to go ahead and trade for Juan Soto. That's how deep their farm system was, and that's how well Preller evaluated the talent.

The crazy part is the history of Rays-Padres dealings with Preller involved is more expansive. And to date, the only one they're kicking themselves for is the three-team deal that sent Trea Turner to the Nationals. But the Rays were arguably worse off than the Padres when all was said and done.

Whatever happens in San Diego this upcoming season, Cashman better be keeping a seat warm for Preller in the Bronx if there's any chance the Padres' head man would consider taking a job in a smaller capacity.