The Rangers and Padres had been discussing relievers Heath Bell and Mike Adams for weeks. The Rangers seemed to prefer Adams, who has been more effective and is under control for one more season, to Bell, while the Padres preferred to move Bell. To get the pitchers they had targeted, the Padres relented, and numerous reports just an hour before the non-waiver trade deadline suggest that Adams is the one headed to the Rangers.
In return Jed Hoyer lands polished starting pitching prospects Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland. The pair was in the Frisco rotation, and Erlin, in fact, was scheduled to pitch tonight against San Diego’s Texas League affiliate San Antonio Missions. Both have been among the best performing pitching prospects in all of the minor leagues and have been moving up prospect lists.
Adams further upgrades a Rangers bullpen that yesterday added Koji Uehara, giving them two elite setup options in front of Neftali Feliz. That pushes Darren Oliver, Mark Lowe and others into earlier inning roles and should lower the club’s dependence on Feliz.
Adams and Uehara also give the club viable alternatives if they decide to move Feliz into the rotation in 2012 as a potential replacement for C.J. Wilson, who will be a free agent. Adams and Uehara will be free agents after the 2012 season themselves, so, given MLB’s antiquated player Elias based player ranking system, saves would beef up Adams’ status as a potential Type A compensation player.