Texas Rangers' Trade Bait: Top Prospect Joe Wieland Tosses No-Hitter

Timothy HowellCorrespondent IIJuly 30, 2011

Joe Wieland, a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher for the Frisco Rough Riders, the Texas Rangers’ AA affiliate, threw a no-hitter last night as the Riders’ beat the San Antonio Missions 3-0.

Joe Wieland, along with left-handed pitching prospect Robbie Erlin (also of the Rough Riders), were the two players that the San Diego Padres reportedly asked for in return for Mike Adams, the Padres’ set-up man.

The Texas Rangers, according to MLBTradeRumors.com via Twitter, nixed that deal, as they felt that the combination of Erlin and Wieland was too much to give up for Mike Adams.

Adams is thought by some to be more desirable than closer Heath Bell—a name that Texas Rangers’ fans are certainly familiar with.

The Texas Rangers, according to a tweet by Jeff Passan, MLB Columnist for Yahoo! Sports, are considered the favorites to land a trade for Bell, but are currently stalling due to an asking price that is deemed too high for the right-hander’s services.

Mike Adams’ contract doesn’t expire until the end of next season, so a team that acquires him would have an additional one season of control.  Bell is in the last year of his Padres contract, so he might be considered a one-year rental.

Adams is a native Texan—this might make the Rangers more appealing to him, but he has little control on where he is dealt. 

Bell is a California native and it seems likely that no matter where he is shipped off to, he’d like to come back to the West Coast after the completion of the 2011 season.

Undoubtedly, scouts were at the baseball game to get a better look at Wieland, and must have left quite impressed.

Wieland’s no-hitter was just the fourth thrown for the Frisco Rough Riders in their history. 

With the victory, Wieland improved to 4-0 on the year with a 1.23 ERA.

He allowed only one San Antonio base runner—Parrino on a walk—and struck out seven over his nine innings pitched. Despite the one walk allowed, Wieland still only faced the minimum 27 batters.

Perhaps most impressive about Wieland's no-no is that he did it on the Double-A level.  Wieland started the season pitching for the Rangers' High-A affiliate, Myrtle Beach—where he absolutely dominated—in 85 and 2/3 innings pitched he struck out 96 batters while walking just four.

If Wieland can continue his ascension at his current astounding rate, he could stand a great chance of making the big-league roster in 2012. 

The Texas Rangers most likely will not give up a combination of Erlin and Wieland for any prospect, but may be willing to trade Joe Wieland for Heath Bell in a straight-swap.

The Texas Rangers’ bullpen has been a problem spot all season long, and it is widely regarded as the team’s chief Achilles heel.  The addition of Heath Bell or Mike Adams to their relieving core would most likely strengthen the Rangers enough to be considered favorites to repeat as AL champions.

Timothy Howell's other MLB Trade Rumor and Texas Rangers articles can be accessed by clicking this link.