The Rangers greatly bolstered their bullpen Sunday by acquiring reliever Mike Adams from the Padres Sunday for pitching prospects Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland. This follows the Rangers acquiring Koji Uehara on Saturday for Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter. In just two moves, the Rangers have turned their greatest weakness into arguably their greatest strength.
With Adams, Uehara and Neftali Feliz at the back of the bullpen, the Rangers have one of the most fearsome collections of late inning arms in recent history. Adams, who has a 1.13 ERA on the season, is expected to man the eighth inning set-up role along with Uehara.
The Rangers gave up two Double-A pitchers in exchange for Adams' services. Wieland and Erlin have been masterful so far this season between Single and Double-A ball. Wieland might have pushed this trade through with his last outing in which he threw a no-hitter against the San Antonio Missions.
The Rangers have now positioned themselves as one of the most complete teams in all of baseball. They own one of the top three offenses in all of the game headlined by Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz, but they always get all the credit.
The starting rotation has also been lights out all season anchored by All-Stars C.J. Wilson and Alexi Ogando. The Rangers have the best road ERA in all of baseball at 3.04 and they own the second best home record in the American League behind the Yankees.
The only missing link on the reigning American League champs was the bullpen. Plagued by injuries early in the year and inconsistency throughout, the Rangers bullpen has given up the sixth most runs in all of baseball and has only converted 26 out of 41 save opportunities. With the additions of Adams and Uehara, the Rangers have added two of the best relievers on the market to greatly bolster the pen.
This trade also impacts next season. Both Adams and Uehara are signed through next season giving the Rangers the bullpen arms they need to transition Feliz into a starting role.
Jon Daniels has yet again pulled off a very successful trade deadline. Last season, the Rangers landed Cliff Lee which propelled them all the way to the World Series. In 2007, Daniels executed one of the best trades in recent history by trading Mark Teixeira to the Atlanta Braves for Neftali Feliz, Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison and others.
The Rangers now seem poised for another deep postseason run and with a bolstered bullpen, they could be scary come October.