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Robbie Erlin Rumors
Trade deadlines come and go every year, and in looking back we tend to remember the blockbuster deals. Few will forget last year's Hanley Ramirez deal or 2011's Ubaldo Jimenez trade (even if both teams involved would probably like to). Sometimes though, the smaller deals wind up yielding plentiful returns as well.
Such is the case with the Mike Adams trade of 2011. The last-place Padres shipped their ace setup man to the Rangers for minor league right-hander Joe Wieland (21 years old at the time) and left-hander Robbie Erlin (20 at the time). Here's a look at each of the players involved in this one…
The Major League Side
- Mike Adams: The Padres initially landed Adams from the Indians in exchange for Brian Sikorski — a right-hander who threw 19 2/3 innings for Cleveland in a fourth-place season (whoops). Adams broke out in San Diego, posting a 1.66 ERA, 10.0 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 217 innings over parts of four seasons. It was more of the same in Texas following the swap, as Adams totaled 78 innings of 2.88 ERA, 8.1 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 for the Rangers. Adams was controlled through 2012 at just $2.54MM, so GM Jon Daniels was able to secure a dominant relief arm for a year and a half. He proved to be a bullpen workhorse in the postseason, appearing in 11 of the Rangers' 17 games with a 3.24 ERA. Adams hit the open market this offseason, and not surprisingly he wasn't issued a qualifying offer. He signed a two-year, $12MM with the Phillies, ending his time in the Lone Star state.
The Minor League Side
- Joe Wieland: A fourth-round pick in the 2008 draft, Wieland ranked as the Rangers' No. 22 prospect prior to the 2011 season, per Baseball America. His stock has soared since that ranking. Wieland reached the big leagues last year and ranks as the No. 8 prospect in San Diego according to BA and No. 7 per MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. Wieland's minor league numbers are impressive: a 3.29 ERA, 8.4 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 438 innings. His 2012 season was cut short by Tommy John surgery, but Wieland posted a 4.55 ERA, 7.8 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in five starts. BA praises Wieland's plus command and four solid pitches. He sits 90-91 mph with his fastball and can run it up to 94 when needed. Mayo notes that all four of Wieland's pitches should be average or better, and both outlets agree that he's a mid-rotation starter if he realizes his potential. His surgery took place last July, so he should pitch again sometime in 2013.
- Robbie Erlin: Erlin was the bigger prospect at the time of the trade, but BA and Mayo both agree that Wieland has leapfrogged him. BA has him 10th among Padres prospects while Mayo ranks him ninth. Erlin missed about three months of the 2012 season with elbow tendinitis, but was dominant in the 52 1/3 innings he did pitch at Double-A; the 2009 third-rounder posted a 2.92 ERA, 12.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. Erlin was impressive in the Arizona Fall League following his injury, finishing second the league with 31 strikeouts in 24 innings. He's undersized (5'11", 190 pounds) and lacks overpowering stuff, with BA noting that his fastball tops out at 92 mph. Mayo commends Erlin's approach of attacking hitters, adding that his pitchability and competitive nature allow his average offerings to play up. Erlin profiles as a No. 4 starter who will benefit from Petco Park, according to BA, and Mayo feels that he's on the brink of the big leagues.
Adams proved to be a durable, highly effective late-inning arm for the Rangers, while the Padres have attained a pair of mid-rotation arms if Erlin and Wieland can overcome their respective arm injuries. Wieland's improvements have helped to make this look like a very strong return for San Diego. Time will tell if Wieland and/or Erlin can stick as big league starters, but I'd have to imagine that San Diego would be thrilled with the trade if even one of the two could be a part of the rotation for the next few years.
Baseball America's 2013 Prospect Handbook was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
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.
It was on this day in 1995 when the Padres exploded for 11 runs in the eighth inning to notch an 11-3 win over the Giants. Today, the offensively-challenged Friars would be happy if they scored 11 runs over a three-game series. Here's the latest news from sunny San Diego….
- The Padres have offered Heath Bell a two-year contract worth around $14MM, reports Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). We've heard that the Padres were willing to offer Bell two years with a third option year, while Bell is looking for three guaranteed years in the neighborhood of $27-30MM. Given that Bell would probably earn as much as $10MM in arbitration next year, San Diego's offer of two years/$14MM doesn't seem like it would be enough, unless it included some easily-reachable incentive clauses and possibly a bonus payment if Bell is traded.
- It will be a while before we can judge if the Padres or the Rangers "won" the Mike Adams trade, though Tom Krasovic of Inside The Padres notes that Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland will benefit the most should they get the chance to pitch at Petco Park. "If there's a better way for a pitcher to get a toehold on a major league career than to go to the Padres, one doesn't come to mind," Krasovic writes.
- A pair of draft signings: ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Padres signed seventh-rounder Matt Wisler to a contract with a $500K bonus. Wisler, a right-handed pitcher, was committed to Ohio State. San Diego also signed eleventh-rounder Casey McElroy, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter).
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.
Heath Bell said yesterday that he expects to be traded and you can't blame him given the recent rumors. The Rangers, Angels, Phillies and Cardinals appear to have some interest in Bell and some of those clubs are interested in setup man Mike Adams, as well. Here's the latest on the San Diego relievers…
- I've heard the Padres asked for Wieland and Erlin from the Rangers for Adams and were turned down, and were seeking just Wieland for Bell.
- The Cardinals are still in on Bell, tweets Heyman.
- The Rangers and Padres continue to discuss Bell, reports Scott Miller of CBS Sports, though they've made little progress. The Cardinals are on the fringe, and the Angels are not involved. The Padres are asking for three players for Bell, and have interest in Rangers prospect Robbie Erlin. Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweets that the Padres are rumored to have interest in Rangers Double-A righty Joe Wieland, who tossed a no-hitter against the San Antonio Missions tonight.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock questions the upper-level prospects the Cardinals would move in a deal with the Padres, but says Double-A righty Joe Kelly is a name to watch (Twitter link).
- The Rangers remain the favorite for Bell, tweets Yahoo's Jeff Passan, but they're at a standstill with the Padres in terms of which prospects would be involved. He says the Padres understand they're not getting Jurickson Profar, Martin Perez, or Leonys Martin.
- The Phillies remain active in talks for Padres relievers, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. He says they prefer Adams to Bell because of the extra year of control.
- The Rangers are the frontrunners for Bell and the Cardinals' interest in the closer is growing, according to Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. It's possible that no team will meet the Padres' asking price for Adams, Center writes.
- Rival teams still expect the Rangers to acquire Bell, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. One official even says it’s “a lock.” However, the Rangers continue to shy away from the Padres’ asking price – up to three of their top prospects.
- The Angels are looking for setup types, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).