Some possible bullpen options for Texas
As we get closer to the trade deadline -- about a month and a half away now -- ESPN.com's Buster Olney took a look at the bullpen options available for teams in need of relief help, like the Rangers. Here's part of his blog entry (click here for the entire thing):
Grant Balfour, Oakland Athletics -- The 33-year-old right-hander is having a decent season, with a 2.81 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. He's under contract for this season and next, for $3.75 million this year and $4 million next year.
Mike Adams, San Diego Padres -- On one hand, San Diego could look to him to be their closer if Heath Bell is traded (and the industrywide expectation is that Bell will move soon). On the other hand, rival executives wonder whether now would be the best time to trade 32-year-old Adams to take advantage of his value -- and he would have a lot because he is arbitration-eligible and would be under team control through 2012 and because his stuff is excellent. "He's nasty right now," a scout said this week.
Luke Gregerson, Padres -- The same scout said he has seen some regression in Gregerson's stuff this year, an observation reflected in the fact that, for the first time in his career, Gregerson is allowing more than a hit an inning -- 31 hits in 27.1 innings, after surrendering 47 hits in 78.1 innings last season. His strikeout rate has gone from 10.2 per nine innings last year to 4.6 this year.
But he is experienced, and right-handed batters have a .290 on-base percentage against him.