San Diego is one-stop shopping for contending teams in need of bullpen help, with closer Heath Bell and setup men Mike Adams and Chad Qualls rumored to be on the trading block.
Adams told Dan Hayes of the North County Times that he applied for a passport at the suggestion of his agent in case he’s traded to an American League team and has to travel to Toronto.
And the 32-year-old right-hander also said he’s more worried about how his wife would handle a trade:
I think the main person it affects is probably my wife because of the uncertainty. And if we do have to leave, she’s the one who has to do all the work as far as packing up the family and moving alone.
Adams’ situation is particularly interesting because he’ll be the most desirable non-closer reliever being shopped prior to the July 31 trade deadline, but will take over as the Padres’ closer if he remains in San Diego and Bell is dealt. Depending on what happens he’s either a couple weeks from being on a new team or becoming much more well-known thanks to a role change with his old team.
Either way, with a 1.70 ERA, .177 opponents’ batting average, and 234 strikeouts in 212 career innings for the Padres he’s deserving of a lot more attention.
Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.
“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”
Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.
The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.