At the July trade deadline, the San Diego Padres had two big-name relievers on the market: closer Heath Bell and setup man Mike Adams.
The Rangers were among the teams interested in Adams. They made the trade.
The Cardinals were among the teams interested in Bell. They didn’t.
On Tuesday, it was mentioned to Adams that he easily could have opposed his former teammate in the World Series.
“I guess so,” Adams said. “There was a lot of places he could have ended up. Unfortunately for him, I guess — I don’t know how much he wanted to (leave) — he ended up in San Diego for the remainder of the year.
“But he’s going to be all right. He’s going to go somewhere where the team’s pretty good. And he’s going to get compensated very well.”
(We should acknowledge that it may not have been possible for the Cardinals to trade for Bell while also making the Colby Rasmus trade — a move widely credited with pushing them into the postseason.)
Bell will be a free agent this offseason after saving 43 games with a 2.44 ERA in 2011.
So, where does Adams think Bell will end up?
“With a nice contract,” Adams said. “I don’t know where he ends up, but he ends up with a nice contract, I know that.”
Last year, Bell, Adams and setup man Luke Gregerson comprised one of the best 7-8-9 combinations in baseball. If Bell leaves via free agency, the Padres could evaluate Gregerson as a possible closer.
“Luke can get the job done,” Adams said. “He struggled a little this year. He had some issues with the slider. But when Luke’s on, Luke’s one of the best in the game.
“There’s a couple guys over there that are going to be battling for that spot. I hope Luke gets the opportunity to close over there. Hopefully for him, he gets it all back together this winter, has a good spring and gets that job.”
— Jon Paul Morosi