The San Diego Padres already are waiving the white flag.
“San Diego has even shown a willingness to at least engage in trade talk even about a star young reliever such as Mike Adams,” said Heyman. “Padres people may ultimately decide to keep Adams, but they appear to be taking a very realistic approach to their team and season.”
It’s common knowledge the Texas Rangers are a team that will be looking for bullpen help at the trade deadline and they met with Padres brass at PETCO Park in late May.
While they won’t be the only ones looking for a guy like Adams or Bell, most of the teams looking for pitching help are going to be focusing their attention on the Padres’ setup man instead of the closer.
One of the more obvious reasons might be the fact Adams will be under team control through 2012, and it may not cost nearly as much to sign the right-hander long term.
As of right now, Bell is making $8.5 million in what will most certainly be his final season in a San Diego Padres uniform before he hits free agency. Once that happens, Bell is going to land a deal between three and four years and in the neighborhood of $10 million-$12 million per season.
The Rangers may not want to invest that much money, not to mention that many years, for a guy who already is 34. You’re looking at an investment that you hope stays healthy for a full three seasons at an age where most pitchers are starting to wind down their careers.
Adams is the best option for Texas to go after, but what they need to be concerned about, where both him and Bell are concerned, are the players the Padres will ask for in return.
Not only will Adams be under a team’s control through 2012, but his $2.5 million price tag and an ERA that hasn’t been above 2.00 since the 2008 season makes him an attractive reliever in any bullpen.
If the Padres are really serious about selling off Adams, it’s going to cause a bidding war either in the days leading up to the deadline or just hours before it expires.
If I’m the Rangers, I get the asking price and figure out if it’s something I can afford to give. If not, no matter how good Adams is, I move on to other names that can fix a struggling bullpen or improve the rotation.
There’s no doubt Adams gives the Rangers’ bullpen a much different look and a guy manager Ron Washington can hand the ball to knowing it’ll be taken care of.
Heath Bell or Mike Adams? That is the question.