Now that the trade deadline has passed and the Rangers have made a few moves, it's your turn to grade them. When the Rangers got Koji Uehara, they got a B from me for at least addressing the bullpen in some way. It went up to an A when they added Mike Adams. Yes, they gave up some good prospects. But that's what it takes to get someone of quality.
The biggest reason they get a top grade is that not only did they address the bullpen, but they did with two of the most consistent relievers on the market and those two will be on the club in 2012 (assuming Uehara pitches in 11 more games). So this wasn't purely a half-season rental situation.
ESPN analyst and former GM Jim Bowden likes what the Rangers did at the deadline. His entire story is here (insider access required). But here is part of Bowden's thoughts. He gave the Rangers an A and the Padres a B+.
Adams has a funky look that is very deceptive; it's difficult for hitters to get good reads off of him. His nasty cutter/slider is 89-92 mph, and that is the wipeout pitch that makes him so special. The Rangers are expected to move Neftali Feliz into the starting rotation in 2012, and Adams no doubt will eventually become their closer.
Erlin, 20, is a small lefty who really knows how to pitch. His fastball is mostly 88-91 mph with good life that he uses on both sides of the plate. He’s a fly ball pitcher who will work well at Petco Park. His changeup is his best secondary pitch with good deception. Wieland, 21, has a fastball that is 89-93 with above average command and control. He has a plus-curveball and an average change. Erlin projects as a future No. 2 or No. 3 starter, while Wieland is more of No. 3 or No. 4 starter. Both will pitch in the big leagues.
The Rangers' additions of Adams and Koji Uehara make them clear winners at the trade deadline, and that should be no surprise with Jon Daniels at the helm. Remember, he traded for Cliff Lee at last year’s deadline. The Rangers' bullpen has gone from a weakness to a strength, and the best part is that neither Uehara nor Adams is a rental player. The Rangers will control both pitchers through 2012.
Do you agree? What's your grade of the Rangers and explain why you gave them that grade.