Padres tell Adams he's staying put

At least a dozen teams have contacted the San Diego Padres about standout reliever Mike Adams(notes), and to this point they've all been rebuffed. With good reason.

The big boss said he's staying put.

Certainly a team could come with a blowaway offer, but Padres owner Jeff Moorad last week personally told Adams "you're not going anywhere," according to a team source.

The excitement over Adams is peaking at the best time for San Diego. The 6-foot-5 right-hander, who turns 33 two days before the July 31 trade deadline, is turning in his fourth consecutive superb season with the Padres, his 1.23 earned-run average the second best in the major leagues. In 205 games with them, his ERA is 1.69, the best in the National League and just .03 behind the major league leader, Mariano Rivera(notes).

Mike Adams has never posted an ERA higher than 2.50 in four seasons with San Diego.
(Getty Images)

Adams might as well be called Eighth-Inning Mo. The emergence of his cut fastball was key to his ascent, and he now throws it more than anyone in the game except Rivera, Mark DiFelice(notes) and Andy Sonnanstine(notes). Because of Adams' reasonable contract this year and next – he could make upward of $5 million in arbitration this offseason – as well as his ability to close, teams have asked about him more than Padres closer Heath Bell(notes).

The Padres' apparent reticence to trade Adams could hasten the pursuit of Bell, a free agent-to-be whom the Padres have made clear is available. Because Bell is a Type-A free agent, the team that acquires him could recoup two draft picks if he signs elsewhere. Understandably, San Diego is asking for multiple prospects in return.

Chicago White Sox starter Mark Buehrle(notes) saw his 10-and-5 rights – 10 years in the major leagues, five with the same team – vest last season and give him an automatic no-trade clause. And he's prepared to use it.

While Buehrle declined to name teams to which he would not accept a deal should the White Sox fall out of contention over the next week – "I know there are at least a couple," he said – the New York Yankees are believed to be among them. Two years ago, Buehrle told Yahoo! Sports: "What ruined me was that my first time in New York was on 9/11, and every time I go there I’m scared."

Buehrle would be an attractive addition to a thin pitching market, especially if it turns out Colorado's dangling of Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) was, as one official believes, "a big tease." Buehrle's streak of 14 consecutive games with three or fewer runs allowed is the longest in 2011, and he has bounced back from a rough 2010 to post a 3.38 ERA.

There are complications to acquiring the 32-year-old left-hander. If he gets traded, a clause in his contract automatically kicks in for a $15 million option next season.

"And if I get traded someplace," Buehrle said, "I don't know if I'd want to play there for an extra year."

Part of Buehrle's agreeing to waive his no-trade privileges could be turning the deal next season into a player option with a buyout, which would allow him to use the remainder of the year as a trial period.

Even now, Buehrle isn't certain he's returning for the 2012 season. He had in the past hinted at retiring after this year, though he's more concerned with being around his St. Louis-area home when his child, Braden, who turns 4 this week, goes to kindergarten. At most, Buehrle said, that means he'll pitch for two more years.

"Once Braden starts school, I'll be done 100 percent," he said. "Once that happens, you can bet anything and everything I'll be done."

The New York Yankees might be desperate to bolster their rotation with another starter pitcher. Just not desperate enough to ask left-hander Andy Pettitte(notes) to come out of retirement.

The Yankees have not contacted Pettitte and do not expect to do so, according to a source familiar with their plans. The 39-year-old announced his retirement in February, and while he has said privately that he has not completely ruled out pitching again in 2012, this year is a non-starter.

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