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Mike Adams Rumors
As the Rangers are still recovering from their disappointing finish to 2012, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan discussed a number of offseason possibilities for the club as part of a reader mailbag piece. Some of the hot stove highlights…
- Josh Hamilton will get at least one big-money, long-term offer this winter, leaving little chance that the Rangers would be able to sign him for any kind of relative discount, Hamilton believes. Rangers GM Jon Daniels said earlier this week that his team will wait to see what contract offers Hamilton receives from other clubs before making their own pitch to the free agent outfielder.
- Zack Greinke will be a top target for the Rangers this winter. "The Rangers made a strong push for him at the trade deadline…and this is still an organization that wants to build around pitching. That's where the club wants to spend its money," Sullivan writes.
- The Rangers are "unsure" about making a qualifying offer to pending free agent Mike Napoli since if he accepted, Texas would owe the catcher approximately $13.35MM for the 2013 season. If the Rangers didn't issue a qualifying offer and Napoli signed elsewhere, however, then the Rangers wouldn't receive any draft pick compensation. Sullivan argues that Napoli could accept the qualifying offer in the wake of his somewhat disappointing 2012 season and look to rebound in 2013 to set himself up for a larger long-term deal with Texas or another club.
- Though Mike Adams has been diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Sullivan thinks the 34-year-old reliever could still find a multiyear deal as a free agent. The Rangers would happily take Adams back on a one-year deal.
- Sullivan doesn't think Jacoby Ellsbury is a good fit in Texas and doesn't think the Rangers should or would trade Derek Holland or Elvis Andrus in exchange for the Red Sox center fielder. "[Nelson] Cruz for Ellsbury, maybe. But it would seem more logical to take a chance on Leonys Martin than give up substantial talent for an injury-prone outfielder who can walk after next season," opines Sullivan.
- Despite the numerous rumors about a Justin Upton trade, Sullivan isn't sure he's a fit for the Rangers since Cruz is already set at right field. Center field would be the only question mark for Texas next season if Hamilton leaves, as the Rangers have Cruz in right and David Murphy in left.
- Michael Young could receive some trade interest this winter from "a team in need of veteran leadership, as well as somebody who can play second base." Young hit .277/.312/.370 in 651 plate appearances last season, his lowest career OPS for a full campaign. Young turns 36 this month and is set to earn $16MM in 2013, the final year of his contract. He also has no-trade protection as a 10-and-5 player, adding another wrinkle to any possible trade talks.
Earlier today, we learned that Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton will give the club a chance to match any offer and categorized his chances of returning at 50/50. Here's more on the Rangers as their offseason gets underway…
- Reliever Mike Adams, who is a free agent this winter, would like to return to the Rangers, tweets Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Adams will certainly test the open market though, saying, "I'm going to take advantage of it. It's strictly business." The right-hander earned $4.4MM in 2012 and posted a 3.27 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and BB/9 2.9.
- Meanwhile, Adams will meet with a specialist on Thursday regarding his Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and says he expects to have surgery, tweets Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest.
- The Rangers have rotation holes to fill, but they may be able to turn to an in-house solution as Alexi Ogando says that he wants to be a starting pitcher in 2013, Wilson tweets.
- Allowing Hamilton to walk may seem like an easy call in the wake of his late-season struggles, but it's anything but, writes Richard Justice for MLB.com.
Red Sox lefty Jon Lester and Rangers reliever Mike Adams have changed agencies, following agent Josh Yates to ACES. Both pitchers had formerly been represented by SFX Baseball. SFX negotiated Lester's then-precedent-setting five-year, $30MM deal three years ago.
It's common for players to follow their agents, and Yates is on his third agency, having been let go by CSMG (now known as Octagon) in '07. An SFX spokesperson said that Yates decided to leave the company and they wish him well. SFX will still collect the fees on Lester's current contract, which runs through 2014 if a club option is exercised. Adams has emerged as one of the game's top setup men and is in line for a multiyear free agent deal after the season.
Also, correcting an earlier tweet from me, the Braves' Randall Delgado remains with SFX.
The odds say the Red Sox have a 94.5% chance of making the playoffs, but I'm guessing that's not going to console most Red Sox fans. Boston leads Tampa Bay by three games in the Wild Card race, but that gap might have been wider by now if they had made different moves at the trade deadline. Alex Speier of WEEI.com has the details on the deadline deals that didn't happen…
- When the Red Sox made cursory inquiries about Doug Fister, it became clear that the Mariners were aiming high and looking for a right-handed bat. Since joining the Tigers, Fister has a 2.28 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 0.9 BB/9 in 51 1/3 impressive innings.
- The Red Sox were set to acquire Rich Harden from the A’s, but once they looked at his medical records, they were no longer willing to include both Lars Anderson and a player to be named. The PTBNL would have come from a list of high-upside players in the lower minors.
- Raul Alcantara, an 18-year-old Dominican who signed for $500K in 2009 and Brandon Workman, a second round pick in last year’s draft, would have been on the list.
- The Red Sox also kicked around the idea of acquiring Harden’s former teammate, Brad Ziegler, who ended up going to Arizona.
- The Padres weren’t thrilled with Boston’s prospects, so Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein never came close to completing deals for Mike Adams or other Padres relievers.
- The Orioles and Red Sox never exchanged names regarding a possible Koji Uehara deal.
A few stray items of note on this Thursday evening …
- MVP voters who omit pitchers from their ballots should be recused from voting, opines Tracy Ringolsby of FOXSports.com. Voting rules stipulate that all players, including pitchers and DHs, be considered for the MVP, so Justin Verlander and Roy Halladay are legitimate candidates, explains Ringolsby.
- The Tigers' signing of Victor Martinez to a four-year contract is proving to be one of the better moves of the offseason, opines Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com.
- Nationals righty Chien-Ming Wang has been durable upon returning to the big leagues after missing two-plus years to injury, but he has trouble warming up his surgically repaired right shoulder before starts, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Because of this, Wang, a free agent at season's end, has been struggling early in his starts before settling in.
- Each of the eight likely playoff teams boasts a strong relief tandem, writes Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. Half of them were formed in the past year: Last offseason, the Diamondbacks traded for David Hernandez and signed J.J. Putz, and the Tigers signed Joaquin Benoit. In July, the Brewers traded for Francisco Rodriguez and the Rangers acquired Mike Adams.
Padres GM Jed Hoyer appeared on XX1090 Sports Radio with Darren Smith yesterday, and you can listen to the interview right here. Let's recap the important stuff…
- "No one liked watching Mike Adams pitch the eight inning more than I did," said Hoyer, who added that trading the setup man was about getting better in the long-term and maintaining payroll flexibility. "You can't have the back end of your bullpen taking up a third of your payroll space."
- Hoyer has spoken to Heath Bell's agent a number of times since the trade deadline, but said the nature of those talks will remain private. He did acknowledge that he cleared the air with Bell.
- "We're going to be aggressive and make them good offers, but we're not going to do anything ridiculous," said the GM in reference to the team's unsigned draft picks. "I think we'll get all these guys signed, I hope we do." The Padres have already signed top pick Cory Spangenberg.
- Hoyer spoke about Petco Park, and how his team is third is scoring on the road but 15th at home. "[Moving in the fences is] something that's always under consideration. I don't think it's imminent. I think it's something … we need to get over the Petco hurdle without moving the fences in."
Let's check out a few items from the National League West..
- While some Rockies fans are clamoring for the Mets' David Wright, Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post says that the club should zero in on Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer this offseason. While Cuddyer alone won't make Colorado a playoff team next year, he would provide them with a much needed power corner outfield bat.
- The Giants are 2-8 since acquiring Carlos Beltran, but it's not fair to expect him to turn the offense around by himself, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.
- The Padres' expanded scouting department made pulling off the Mike Adams deal rather easy, writes MLB.com's Corey Brock. The club has hired eight new scouts since A.J. Hinch took over as vice president of the department which allowed them to have more than nine different looks at pitchers Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland.
- Veteran Alfredo Amezaga, who was shipped from the Rockies to the Marlins yesterday, is delighted to get a new start with his former club, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
In the latest edition of Full Count from Ken Rosenthal, we learn how this year's trade deadline could have turned out drastically different..
- The Rockies wanted five of Boston's top prospects for Ubaldo Jimenez: Will Middlebrooks, Kyle Weiland, Josh Reddick, Felix Doubront, and Ryan Lavarnway. The Red Sox would have gotten more than just Jimenez in return as Rosenthal tweets that the Rockies offered Jimenez and outfielder Seth Smith in return for the quintet of prospects. There were other possible fits in such a deal including Ryan Spilborghs, Chris Iannetta, and Rafael Betancourt.
- The Rangers had enough prospects to get Carlos Beltran in addition to Koji Uehara and Mike Adams at the deadline. To do that, they would have needed to take either Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland out of the Adams deal as the Mets are fond of both. Rosenthal was told that one of the two pitchers was in the offer for Beltran.
- The Indians traded their two best pitching prospects to land ace Ubaldo Jimenez but the deal wasn't just for this season. Cleveland is mindful of the big picture and they have their key pieces locked up for the next few years. Jimenez, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Shin-Soo Choo are under control for the next two seasons while Justin Masterson and Chris Perez are under control for the next three. If the Tribe doesn't win in the next few years, they can always flip some of those players for prospects.
The Rangers' bullpen may be a strength instead of a weakness for the final two months of the season. A day after acquiring Koji Uehara from the Orioles, Texas obtained Mike Adams from the Padres. Pitching prospects Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland go to San Diego in the deal, the Padres announced.
Adams, 33, has a microscopic 1.13 ERA with 9.2 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 and a 45.8% ground ball rate in 48 innings this year. The Corpus Christi native is no one-year wonder, either. Since joining the Padres in 2008, he has a 1.66 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.
Erlin and Wieland, who are both represented by Sosnick Cobbe Sports, ranked fourth and 22nd in Baseball America's preseason Rangers top 30 prospects list prior to the season. Wieland has seen his stock rise since then, with a 1.23 ERA in 44 Double-A innings – including a no-hitter his last time out. Erlin, a 20-year-old southpaw, is considered among the top 35 prospects in the game by Baseball America and Kevin Goldstein.
The Padres' asking price (which I reported two days ago) was high, since Adams is under team control through 2012. He earns $2.54MM this year and since setup men don't make as much as closers in arbitration, he'll be affordable next year. Uehara will also figure into Texas' bullpen in 2012.