One of the many swirling trade rumors going around has the Phillies talking to the San Diego Padres about reliever Mike Adams and closer Heath Bell.
Adams has been great for years and is under team control for next year making him more than just a half-season rental. That said, it’s unlikely the Phillies would give up the high enough level prospect the Padres would insist on to move Adams. For the Phillies it would be an Ed Wade-style deal that is better left as a spectre of the past and a constant warning for the present and future.
On the other hand, Bell will be a free agent at the end of the season and it’s unlikely the Padres will re-sign him to the big money deal he’s going to want. On Friday, SI’s Jon Heyman linked the Phillies again to Bell so the possibility is definitely still out there.
While Bell is an established closer his status as a rental means his pricetag may be a bit more reasonable than a controllable guy like Adams. If the Phillies can find a way to procure Bell for only a mid-level prospect, it may be the smart move.
The Phillies have had great success with young lefty Antonio Bastardo filling in for Brad Lidge, Jose Contreras, and Ryan Madson respectively but it’s probably a bad idea for a team with World Series plans to rely on a near-rookie to close games down the stretch let alone in the playoffs. Even with Ryan Madson and as of Friday Brad Lidge returning to the bullpen, adding another veteran arm would be a smart hedge against further issues, especially with Contreras still on the shelf with no timetable for a return.
A back end of the bullpen featuring Madson, Lidge, and Bell, along with Bastardo as the lefty specialist, is pretty ridiculous. Make it happen, Rube.