UPDATE: It’s not often that Ken Rosenthal misfires — he is, in my view, the best at this rumor business — but he misfired here. Almost immediately after his report that the Padres had traded Heath Bell to the Rangers, multiple reports came in that it was not Bell, but rather, Mike Adams who is going to Texas. And the word is now that it is official.
In return the Padres will get prospects Joe Wieland and Robert Erlin. Not a small price, as both of them are great looking prospects. Wieland threw a no-hitter the other day for Double-A Frisco and is 10-3 with a 1.80 ERA and a 132/15 K/BB ratio in 129.2 innings across Single-A and Double-A ball this year. Erlin has a slightly higher ERA but a similar BB/K ratio as Wieland across the same two divisions.
A tall price to pay for a setup guy, but clearly the Rangers are thinking “win now.”
2:29 PM: Padres asleep at the wheel? Nah, they’re just waking up. Pacific time, you know.
We don’t have details yet, but Ken Rosenthal just tweeted that the Texas Rangers have traded for Padres’ closer Heath Bell. Moments before that tweet, it was reported that Bell was called into Bud Black’s office in San Diego.
The Rangers have been talking to the Padres about Bell for some time, but many figured that the interest had died out once they acquired Koji Uehara yesterday. Now they have three relievers in Bell, Uehara and, oh yeah, Neftali Feliz who could close ballgames if need be and, in any event, can shut down hitters in the late innings.
The Rangers have slowly started to pull away in the AL West these past few weeks. Now it looks like they’re making moves to to mount a formidable run in the playoffs.
The Braves signed left-handed reliever Jacob Lindgren to a one-year deal, according to a team announcement on Sunday.
Lindgren, the Yankees’ top draft pick in 2014, was nicknamed “The Strikeout Factory” after blowing through four levels of New York’s farm system in 2014. He started the 2015 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and was called up for his major league debut only two months into the 2015 season. The 22-year-old lasted seven innings with the club before succumbing to bone chips in his elbow, and underwent bone spur surgery in June before trying his luck again during spring training in 2016.
In August, the Yankees shut Lindgren down for the remainder of the season so the lefty could undergo Tommy John surgery. With a projected return date of 2018, Lindgren was non-tendered by the Yankees on Friday.
While the Braves won’t get the benefit of Lindgren’s top prospect skill set in their bullpen anytime soon, he will remain under club control if they keep him on their 40-man roster beyond the 2017 season (per ESPN’s Keith Law).
Free agent closer Mark Melancon is entertaining at least two offers in the four-year, $60+ million ballpark, reports FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. The teams thought to be in the running are the Giants and Nationals, with the Giants having a slight edge due to their strong interest in him last summer (per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick).
Crasnick also said that while the Giants are keeping tabs on the top three free agent closers this winter, the other two being Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman, they’re leaning toward Melancon as a (slightly) more affordable option in the ‘pen. It’s worth noting that Melancon would not cost the Giants a draft pick if they decided to sign him.
Melancon had an outstanding season in 2016, nearly reaching career-best numbers with a 1.64 ERA, 2.42 FIP and 5.42 K/BB rate in 71 1/3 innings split between the Pirates and Nationals’ bullpens. The veteran right-hander earned his third career All-Star distinction after stifling opposing hitters with a 1.23 ERA and 7.9 K/9 rate in the first half, and went on to appear in his fourth consecutive playoff run.
Despite the Giants’ apparent lead in the bidding for Melancon, Rosenthal mentioned a third mystery team who might throw their hat in the ring as well. No clubs have been name-dropped as of yet.