Every once in a while, or every time that Adam Jones visits Toronto to play against the Blue Jays, we’re reminded that baseball players, like other human beings, must suffer through the indignity of a customs officials’ questioning. As such, it’s easy to take for granted that all baseball players would possess that oh-so-important piece of personal identification that allows one to travel across national borders: a passport.
Not so much for San Diego Padres reliever Mike Adams. As a 32 year old man, Adams is only now getting a passport after his agent recommended he start the process earlier this month. With the Padres going nowhere fast, it’s expected that Adams, along with closer Heath Bell, will be made available for a potential trade to a contender ahead of the July 31st deadline. If he’s dealt to an American League team, there’s a pretty good chance that at some point he will have to travel to the Great White North, for presumably the first time in his life.
Adams is making $2.535 million dollars this season, and is under team control for one more season after this one. Meanwhile, Heath Bell, at the age of 33, will make $7.5 million before becoming a free agent for the first time ahead of the 2012 season.
The Texas Rangers have been the team most often connected with San Diego’s two best relievers, but the Phillies and Yankees have also had their names mentioned as potential destinations for Adams and Bell.
Despite being the set up guy to Bell’s closer, I wonder if a contending team isn’t likely to find more value in acquiring Adams. Not only is he under team control for another season and unlikely to cost as much as Bell, Adams has also been the more effective reliever this season, as Bell has struggled at times to strike batters out with his curveball, an ability that made him such a dominant closer for the Padres over the past two seasons.
Smooth border crossing to HardBall Talk for the link.