With Adams, Texas 'pen now a strength

The Texas Rangers have acquired one of the best setup relievers in baseball, Mike Adams, from the San Diego Padres in exchange for two young minor league starting pitchers, left-hander Robbie Erlin and right-hander Joe Wieland.

Adams has a funky look that is very deceptive; it's difficult for hitters to get good reads off of him. His nasty cutter/slider is 89-92 mph, and that is the wipeout pitch that makes him so special. The Rangers are expected to move Neftali Feliz into the starting rotation in 2012, and Adams no doubt will eventually become their closer.

Erlin, 20, is a small lefty who really knows how to pitch. His fastball is mostly 88-91 mph with good life that he uses on both sides of the plate. He’s a fly ball pitcher who will work well at Petco Park. His changeup is his best secondary pitch with good deception. Wieland, 21, has a fastball that is 89-93 with above-average command and control. He has a plus curveball and an average change. Erlin projects as a future No. 2 or No. 3 starter, while Wieland is more of No. 3 or No. 4 starter. Both will pitch in the big leagues.

The Rangers' additions of Adams and Koji Uehara make them clear winners at the trade deadline, and that should be no surprise with Jon Daniels at the helm. Remember, he traded for Cliff Lee at last year’s deadline. The Rangers' bullpen has gone from a weakness to a strength, and the best part is that neither Uehara nor Adams is a rental player. The Rangers will control both pitchers through 2012.

The Padres' Jed Hoyer is also a winner at the buzzer among GMs who are rebuilding because he got two future starters for his rotation.

This was a win-win deal for both sides.


Rangers: A

Padres: B+