This is another interesting trade involving a relief pitcher and prospects. Adams has been a shut-down reliever for the Padres for four years now. His Major League ERA is 2.11, with a K/BB ratio of 3.47. The Rangers had been connected with the Padres closer Heath Bell for a majority of the trade deadline, but ended up getting most likely a better pitcher in Adams.
While Adams has played in the friendly confines of Petco Park, his career road ERA is actually better than his career home ERA. However, the shift from Petco Park to Rangers Ballpark is a large one. Also, the American League creates much more offensive output than the National League, so we can expect to see some dip in performance from Adams.Along with the Rangers' previous acquisition of Koji Uehera and their current bullpen consisting of Neftali Feliz, Darren Oliver, Mark Lowe and Yoshinori Tateyama - all pitchers with an ERA+ well over 100 this year - the Rangers bullpen is looking very dominant, which will keep them in close games down the stretch and possibly in the playoffs.
The price was quite steep, though. Erlin placed 34th on Baseball America's midseason prospect rankings and Wieland recently threw a no-hitter in Double-A. Erlin was promoted to Double-A this season and has yet to really show much there, with an ERA of 4.32 in 66 and 2/3 innings pitched. Wieland's ERA at Double-A Frisco is 1.23 in 44 innings pitched.
There is no such thing as a pitching prospect, due to how often they get hurt or fizzle out, and the Rangers apparently feel confident enough that Adams will continue his dominance with them that it was worth it to trade away two young and talented arms in their system.
Adams is also under team control through the 2012 season, since he is only just past four years of major league service time.