Adams nets Padres two pitching prospects
Erlin, Wieland head to San Diego's system from Rangers
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres dealt a highly-regarded reliever Sunday, though it wasn't the move everyone figured was coming.
The Padres traded eighth-inning specialist, right-hander Mike Adams, to the Rangers for two Minor League pitchers, left-hander Robbie Erlin and right-hander Joe Wieland.
Adams, who turned 33 on Friday, is 3-1 with a 1.13 ERA in 48 appearances. Since the 2009 season, Adams -- regarded as one of the top set-up men in the game, has posted a 1.31 ERA in 155 appearances.
"I can see that [success] continuing," said Padres manager Bud Black. "In the last couple of years he's been mentioned as a possible All-Star. He was close this year to being an All-Star. He's got some great years ahead of him as a relief pitcher in the game.
"We've seen him from '07 to now become one of the best relievers in the game."
The trade came as a surprise to Adams, who admitted that he figured that closer Heath Bell would be the one getting traded on Sunday.
Adams is a Texas guy, a resident of Corpus Christi, and he arrived at PETCO Park on Sunday wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey with the name of Miles Austin on the back.
"I came in this morning prepared to be the closer. I honestly thought Heath [Bell] would be moved. This is a shock," Adams said. "There's a lot of good people in this clubhouse that I'm going to miss."
The Padres, who were seeking impact players with upside in any deal, land Erlin, a 20-year-old who was a third-round Draft pick in 2009. Erlin is 8-4 with a 3.34 ERA in 20 games (19 starts) between Class A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco.
"I have mixed feelings on it. It's kind of bittersweet. I'm looking forward to playing in the Padres organization, but I'm really going to hate leaving the Rangers organization and all the people I've met," Erlin said on Sunday.
"I've been to San Diego once before, and it's an amazing city. If it happens that I get that far and get the chance to pitch in PETCO Park, it would be very cool."
Wieland, 21, was a teammate of Erlin's in Frisco. He made news on Friday for tossing a no-hitter against the Padres' Double-A affiliate, San Antonio. Wieland is a combined 10-3 with a 1.80 in 21 games (20 starts) between Myrtle Beach and Frisco.
Wieland was a fourth-round pick in the 2008 Draft.
"Both guys we scouted them pretty heavily," Padres general manager Jed Hoyer said. "They're two pitchers we feel are polished and fit this ballpark fantastically.
"We don't have enough young talent in the system. The farm system here hasn't been a strength for a long time."
Both Erlin and Wieland will likely remain with San Antonio for the rest of the season.
As for Adams, he has certainly come a long ways since former Padres general manager Kevin Towers picked him up in a deal in 2006 with the Indians for pitcher Brian Sikorski, including three different microfracture surgeries on his knees.
When asked about what he'll miss most about San Diego, Adams started to get a little emotional.
"The training staff. ... I'm here because of them. They took care of me, and I owe the majority of what I've done the past few years to those guys. I really wish that I could take one or two of them with me," he said.
"I credit all the success I have now to the injuries, because I had to sit back and watch. I wasn't able to play the game. I think that's the best therapy of all, not being able to play and realizing what you lose."