Twitter can be a dangerous thing. Reports surfaced a few minutes ago that the Rangers had acquired Padres closer Heath Bell; shortly after it was revealed that the other Padres reliever, Mike Adams, was the one who was traded.
The Rangers give up two prospect pitchers in Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland, which is a very steep price to pay for a relief pitcher, however good he may be. Adams is under team control for 2012 through arbitration and probably has more value than Bell which is likely why the Rangers shifted their focus.
Adams, who just turned 33, has pitched in 119 games for San Diego over the past season-and-a-half to the tune of a 1.49 ERA and has a career 3.47 K/BB ratio. The Rangers also acquired former Orioles setup man Koji Uehara yesterday giving the Rangers a dominating late-inning crew when teamed up with closer Neftali Feliz.
Erlin, 20, was ranked fourth among Rangers prospects before the season by Baseball America and has split this season between high-A and AA in the Rangers system. Erlin possesses excellent control and the ability to miss bats posting a 10.94 K/BB ratio between his two stops. The former third-round pick of the Rangers has a low 90s fastball, a plus sweeping curveball and a quality changeup.
Wieland, meanwhile was a fourth-round draft pick in 2008 who is enjoying a breakout campaign this season between the same two stops as Erlin. In 129.2 minor-league innings, Wieland has a 1.81 ERA and 2.40 FIP. Like Erlin, the 21-year-old Wieland demonstrates polish beyond his years with three quality pitches.
Adams is certainly a dominating reliever and the Rangers definitely have the minor-league depth to make this deal, but the price still seems steep when you consider how polished Erlin and Wieland are.
Along with the prospects acquired in the Adrian Gonzalez trade over the winter, the San Diego Padres are setting themselves up for long-term success. Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, Reymond Fuentes, Joe Wieland, and Robbie Erlin form an impressive backbone of prospects acquired through trades; with potentially more high ceiling players on the way if Bell gets dealt within the next hour.