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Mike Adams Rumors
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.
The Padres will make two and possibly three trades on Sunday, a source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Reliever Heath Bell, outfielder Ryan Ludwick, and right-hander Chad Qualls are the most likely to move.
The source said that the Rangers remain the front-runner for Bell, but the Cardinals are still in the mix with the Phillies and Yankees showing late interest.
Two men expected to remain in San Diego are starter Aaron Harang and setup man Mike Adams. The Tigers and Indians were pursuing Harang but both teams acquired better starting pitchers on Saturday. Adams, meanwhile, would takeover for Bell as closer.
- The Rangers continue talking to the Padres about Bell, even after acquiring Koji Uehara, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter).
- The Padres have always said they'd be fine with two compensatory draft picks for Bell if the trade offers aren't compelling, Yahoo's Jeff Passan reports (on Twitter).
- The Cardinals and Rangers remain the most persistent on Bell, tweets Joel Sherman, while the Yankees haven't called the Padres in days about Bell or Adams.
- The Tigers have talked to the Padres about their group of relievers, tweets Ken Rosenthal, including Qualls.
- The Rangers, Cardinals, and Blue Jays are the clear leaders for Bell, tweets ESPN's Jim Bowden, with the Angels, Yankees, and Phillies still kicking the tires. Ken Rosenthal has the Rangers as the frontrunner with the Cardinals hanging on.
- Interest in Adams continues to rise, tweets Rosenthal, but the Padres would still need to be compelled to move him. Meanwhile, trusted Yankees scout Bill Livesey is watching the Padres' relievers, tweets Joel Sherman.
- The Cardinals are still alive for Bell, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The Rangers "have gone deep into negotiations with the Padres about Bell, and both sides are optimistic they can strike a deal," reports Yahoo's Jeff Passan. Yesterday, word from Scott Miller of CBS Sports was that Friday's talks between the two clubs did not advance much. MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan feels that logically, the two teams should strike a deal.