The New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports that while the Phillies have been aggressive in pursuing Heath Bell and Mike Adams, the Padres are surprised there hasn’t been more interest from contenders like the Yankees, Reds and Cardinals.
Bell went on ESPN Radio on Sunday and predicted that he’d be traded to the Cardinals, Phillies or Rangers. ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden said later that Bell was the Rangers’ No. 1 trade target.
Since they’re factoring in the cost of missing out on two compensation picks in next year’s draft, the Padres have put a heavy price on Bell’s head. A team isn’t just buying two-plus months of Bell; it’s also getting two possible top-40 picks if he leaves as a free agent.
For that reason, there’s a growing suspicion the Padres might keep Bell and trade Adams instead. Adams could bring a bigger haul since he costs less and he’s under control for 2012. He’s also arguably the superior pitcher; Adams has a 1.20 ERA this year and a 1.33 ERA in 148 2/3 innings since the beginning of 2009. Bell is at 2.45 this season and 2.35 in 180 innings over the last three seasons.
The Padres will almost certainly deal one of the two before Sunday’s deadline. Don’t be too surprised if Bell ends up staying and Adams makes his way to Philadelphia or Texas.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.
Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.
Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.