Mike Adams Rumors
It's been a rough start to the season for the Phillies, whose 9-12 record puts them 6.5 games out of first place in the NL East. Roy Halladay hasn't been himself early (though he's shown signs of life), Ryan Howard hasn't hit much and they were already at a disadvantage with Carlos Ruiz serving a suspension to open the season.
Offseason signee Mike Adams' two-year, $12MM contract was just one among a flurry of moves made by GM Ruben Amaro Jr. The Phillies traded for Michael Young and Ben Revere, signed Adams, John Lannan and Delmon Young as free agents and exercised the option on Ruiz's contract.
While other members of the team have struggled, Adams has done little to suggest that he'll do anything other than what he's done for the past five seasons: dominate. Adams has allowed two runs in nine innings of work to go along with a sizzling 14-to-2 K/BB ratio. That meshes with the 1.98 ERA, 9.5 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 he's posted in 295 innings since 2008.
Teams are always on the lookout for bullpen help come the trade deadline, and this July figures to be no different. We've already seen Jason Motte hit the shelf with Tommy John surgery looking likely. Joel Hanrahan is on the disabled list. John Axford is out as the Brewers' closer. Relief pitching is volatile, and consistently dominant arms like Adams are tough to come by. If the Phillies are farther out of the race in two months, Amaro will have no shortage of phone calls regarding his ace setup man.
Because he's under control for 2014 with an option for 2015, Adams would have significant trade value -- more than the value he had in 2011 when the Rangers gave the Padres their No. 4 prospect (per Baseball America) in Robbie Erlin and their No. 22 prospect in Joe Wieland. That trade looks pretty good for the Padres right now, and the Phillies could benefit even more. Last summer, the Cardinals flipped a 2010 first-round pick in Zack Cox to acquire a year and a half of Edward Mujica -- an inferior reliever to Adams. Granted, Cox's stock had dropped since entering the season as BA's No. 88 prospect, but it can serve as a point of reference in talks for Adams. Two and a half years of Adams at a reasonable price should be enough for a team to part with a Top 100 prospect and another respectable piece.
The Phillies haven't made a history of being sellers at the deadline, but they traded Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino last July and will likely be faced with the opportunity to add prospects via trade once again. Adams should draw plenty of interest, though Amaro may also choose to keep him around with the hope that he can contribute to the next Phillies contender.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Trade deadlines come and go every year, and in looking back we tend to remember the blockbuster deals. Few will forget last year's Hanley Ramirez deal or 2011's Ubaldo Jimenez trade (even if both teams involved would probably like to). Sometimes though, the smaller deals wind up yielding plentiful returns as well.
Such is the case with the Mike Adams trade of 2011. The last-place Padres shipped their ace setup man to the Rangers for minor league right-hander Joe Wieland (21 years old at the time) and left-hander Robbie Erlin (20 at the time). Here's a look at each of the players involved in this one...
The Major League Side
- Mike Adams: The Padres initially landed Adams from the Indians in exchange for Brian Sikorski -- a right-hander who threw 19 2/3 innings for Cleveland in a fourth-place season (whoops). Adams broke out in San Diego, posting a 1.66 ERA, 10.0 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 217 innings over parts of four seasons. It was more of the same in Texas following the swap, as Adams totaled 78 innings of 2.88 ERA, 8.1 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 for the Rangers. Adams was controlled through 2012 at just $2.54MM, so GM Jon Daniels was able to secure a dominant relief arm for a year and a half. He proved to be a bullpen workhorse in the postseason, appearing in 11 of the Rangers' 17 games with a 3.24 ERA. Adams hit the open market this offseason, and not surprisingly he wasn't issued a qualifying offer. He signed a two-year, $12MM with the Phillies, ending his time in the Lone Star state.
The Minor League Side
- Joe Wieland: A fourth-round pick in the 2008 draft, Wieland ranked as the Rangers' No. 22 prospect prior to the 2011 season, per Baseball America. His stock has soared since that ranking. Wieland reached the big leagues last year and ranks as the No. 8 prospect in San Diego according to BA and No. 7 per MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. Wieland's minor league numbers are impressive: a 3.29 ERA, 8.4 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 438 innings. His 2012 season was cut short by Tommy John surgery, but Wieland posted a 4.55 ERA, 7.8 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in five starts. BA praises Wieland's plus command and four solid pitches. He sits 90-91 mph with his fastball and can run it up to 94 when needed. Mayo notes that all four of Wieland's pitches should be average or better, and both outlets agree that he's a mid-rotation starter if he realizes his potential. His surgery took place last July, so he should pitch again sometime in 2013.
- Robbie Erlin: Erlin was the bigger prospect at the time of the trade, but BA and Mayo both agree that Wieland has leapfrogged him. BA has him 10th among Padres prospects while Mayo ranks him ninth. Erlin missed about three months of the 2012 season with elbow tendinitis, but was dominant in the 52 1/3 innings he did pitch at Double-A; the 2009 third-rounder posted a 2.92 ERA, 12.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. Erlin was impressive in the Arizona Fall League following his injury, finishing second the league with 31 strikeouts in 24 innings. He's undersized (5'11", 190 pounds) and lacks overpowering stuff, with BA noting that his fastball tops out at 92 mph. Mayo commends Erlin's approach of attacking hitters, adding that his pitchability and competitive nature allow his average offerings to play up. Erlin profiles as a No. 4 starter who will benefit from Petco Park, according to BA, and Mayo feels that he's on the brink of the big leagues.
Adams proved to be a durable, highly effective late-inning arm for the Rangers, while the Padres have attained a pair of mid-rotation arms if Erlin and Wieland can overcome their respective arm injuries. Wieland's improvements have helped to make this look like a very strong return for San Diego. Time will tell if Wieland and/or Erlin can stick as big league starters, but I'd have to imagine that San Diego would be thrilled with the trade if even one of the two could be a part of the rotation for the next few years.
Baseball America's 2013 Prospect Handbook was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The NL East includes a broad range of payrolls, from the Phillies at $150MM-plus to the Marlins below $40MM. Here's are some notes from the division...
- Carlos Beltran told Mike Puma of the New York Post that David Wright should be able to handle the pressure that comes with a nine-figure contract. "He’s been with the organization a long time, so there is nothing he needs to change,” said Beltran, who signed a seven-year $119MM deal with the Mets as a free agent following the 2004 season.
- Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said newcomer Adeiny Hechavarria has Hanley Ramirez’s endorsement, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. “When Hanley tells you ‘He is better than I am, you’ve got a great guy with great hands,’ it’s amusing to listen to,” Loria said. The Marlins, who traded Ramirez to Los Angeles last summer, acquired Hechavarria from Toronto in a blockbuster deal with the Blue Jays in November.
- Reliever Mike Adams would likely be with a different team had the Phillies completed their deal with the Astros for Wilton Lopez, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. acknowledged that the Phillies "probably would not have" signed Adams had the club not pulled back from trading for Lopez (since dealt to the Rockies) for undisclosed reasons following his physical.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed the Rangers, the Indians and offseason qualifying offers on the latest edition of the Rosters & Rumblings Podcast. Click here to listen in. Here are some news items from around the baseball world...
- The Mets are one of three teams interested in right-hander Kip Wells, reports MLB.com's Evan Drellich. Wells, 35, posted a 4.58 ERA, a 4.6 K/9 rate and a 4.8 BB/9 rate in seven starts for the Padres last season, the first time Wells had pitched in the Majors since 2009. Wells has pitched for nine different clubs over his 12-year career.
- Ian Kinsler has reversed course and told Rangers management that he would prefer to remain at second base, reports Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Kinsler said he was open to a position change back in November but has since decided that he isn't comfortable moving off second at this point in his career. Had Kinsler been willing to move to first base, Texas could have explored using Jurickson Profar and Elvis Andrus as the team's double-play combo.
- The incentive details of Mike Adams' and John Lannan's contracts with the Phillies are outlined by Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Nate Robertson is looking for a spot in a Major League training camp as a left-handed relief specialist, Robertson's agent Steve Canter tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). The 35-year-old Robertson's last Major League appearance came in 2010 and he has spent the last two seasons pitching in the minors for the Mariners, Cubs and Blue Jays. Robertson could find success as a specialist given that he has held left-handed hitters to a .695 OPS over his nine-year career.
- Shaun Marcum is still without a team and Fangraphs' Mike Axisa examines why the market for the free agent right-hander has yet to develop. Marcum was ranked as the 19th-best free agent of the offseason by MLBTR's Tim Dierkes earlier this winter, though three players higher on the list than Marcum (Michael Bourn, Kyle Lohse and Rafael Soriano) are also still available.
- Baseball America's Matt Eddy has the list of minor league transactions from the first week of January.
- Mike Trout unsurprisingly headlines the list of the 25 best players under the age of 25 as compiled by ESPN's Keith Law. Trout and the other three players atop Law's list delivered a historically great performance that compares to the all-time best quartets of young hitters, as noted by ESPN's Dave Cameron. (An ESPN Insider subscription is required for both pieces.)
The Phillies have officially signed veteran reliever Mike Adams, the team announced. It's a two-year contract worth $12MM with a third year club/vesting option worth $6.5MM. The option vests if he appears in 120 games from 2013-2014 with at least 60 appearances in 2014. The right-hander is represented by Josh Yates at ACES.
Adams, 34, has been one of the game's very best setup men in recent years. He pitched to a 3.27 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 52 1/3 innings for the Rangers this year, his lone full season in Texas after being acquired from the Padres for two pitching prospects at the 2011 trade deadline. Adams owns a 2.28 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in his eight-year career.
Philadelphia has been seeking bullpen help in front of Jonathan Papelbon this offseason, though they used right-hander Josh Lindblom to acquire Michael Young a few weeks ago. The team was also looking for a low-risk starter after using Vance Worley to acquire Ben Revere, and they have since agreed to sign John Lannan. More outfield help figures to be on the agenda as well.
Adams is returning from October surgery to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a procedure that involved removing a rib. He is expected to be ready in time for Opening Day. Adams also dealt with numerous shoulder problems earlier in his career, including surgery on his labrum and rotator cuff back in 2008. As our Free Agent Tracker shows, he is the ninth reliever to receive a multiyear contract this offseason.
MLBTR's Tim Dierkes ranked Adams as the 42nd best free agent available in his Top 50 Free Agents List, correctly predicting he would sign with the Phillies. If you signed up for our Free Agent Prediction Contest, check out where you stand with our leaderboard.
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports first reported the two sides were nearing a deal while Tyler Garrett of KRISTV first reported the agreement. ESPN's Jayson Stark and FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal added details along with Brown (Twitter links). Photo courtesy of USA Sports Images.
What would a contract extension for Mike Trout look like? Though the Angels aren’t currently discussing a long-term deal with their 21-year-old star, it’s a topic that will come up eventually. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports examines the question with the help of MLB agents, executives and players, and hears estimates from $60-250MM, with most suggested deals falling in the $100-150MM range. Check out Passan’s entire piece for a thorough exploration of what it would mean to lock Trout up.
Now for some more links as Wednesday turns into Thursday...
- Mark Feinsand of The New York Daily News hears the Mariners and Rangers both prefer power over speed as they look to add offense (Twitter link). Seattle acquired Kendrys Morales on Wednesday.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times that talks about Morales started after texting Angels GM Jerry Dipoto to congratulate him on the Josh Hamilton signing.
- ESPN's Buster Olney speculates (on Twitter) that Justin Smoak could be a fit for the Orioles. Some folks with Baltimore like his swing, and Smoak could be expendable following the Morales pickup.
- Free agent right-hander Brett Myers wants to start again and remains an interesting free agent option in the view of FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link).
- The Rockies are looking to add another reliever, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports (on Twitter). Colorado had interest in Mike Adams before the right-hander signed with the Phillies.
- The Pirates are interested in Rick Porcello, but the Tigers don't want to trade the 23-year-old right-hander straight up for reliever Joel Hanrahan, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports (on Twitter).
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
Adams, 34, pitched to a 3.27 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 52 1/3 relief innings for the Rangers last season as Joe Nathan's primary setup man. He had offseason surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and is expected to be ready in time for Opening Day. Adams is represented by Josh Yates at ACES.
This post was originally published on October 15th.
Happy birthday to Cubs great Fergie Jenkins, who was born 70 years ago today in Chatham, Ontario. The 1971 NL Cy Young Award winner won 167 games in 10 years with the Cubs and wore the red 'C' into the Hall of Fame when he was inducted in 1991.
Here are some items from Chicago and elsewhere around both the AL and NL Central divisions...
- The Braves don't have any interest in trading for Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Cubs are willing to pay $26MM of Soriano's remaining $36MM salary in a trade and have shopped the veteran to the Astros and Phillies this offseason.
- The White Sox would like to bring back A.J. Pierzynski but only at the team's price, writes Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. While the team has kept in touch with Pierzynski's agent, the Sox are prepared to go ahead with Tyler Flowers as their everyday catcher.
- The Brewers can probably be counted out of the Mike Adams hunt, opines Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link) as the free agent reliever will likely be priced out of the Crew's range. At least seven other teams besides Milwaukee are known to be interested in Adams.
- Also from Haudricourt, he outlines how the Brewers have been historically unable to keep their major stars, a trend that may continue given the team's small local TV contract. The one exception was Ryan Braun, who was already on an eight-year contract when he signed his major extension with the Crew.
- We heard last month that the Royals were trying to trade Bruce Chen and Luke Hochevar, but Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that while the team will listen, they "feel no urgency" to move either pitcher. The Royals want a lot of rotation depth and could just put either Chen or Hochevar in the bullpen, though K.C. could also wait until March to find better trade offers. (All links to Dutton's Twitter account.)
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty told reporters (including John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer) that his team is pretty much done its winter shopping, though he hinted that the Reds could add a left-handed reliever.
- As the cost of high-end pitching has risen, Adam Wainwright is in position to receive a huge payday as he enters the final year of his contract with the Cardinals, writes the Associated Press. Both Wainwright and the Cards are open to the idea of discussing a new contract before Opening Day.
- From earlier today, the Cubs and Tigers are the final two suitors for Anibal Sanchez. The Cubs thought they had Sanchez signed to a five-year, $75MM offer, but Sanchez is giving the Tigers a final chance to match or top the offer.
Here are some rumors from ESPN.com's baseball writers, starting with a note from Buster Olney (all links go to Twitter)...
- Ichiro Suzuki is turning down a two-year, $14MM contract offer from the Phillies to sign with the Yankees, according to Olney.
- Asdrubal Cabrera, Justin Masterson and Chris Perez will probably stay put in Cleveland now that the Indians have traded Shin-Soo Choo, Jerry Crasnick reports.
- Mike Adams could sign in the next couple of days, Jayson Stark reports. The Nationals, Blue Jays, Phillies, Rangers, Cubs, White Sox, Angels and Brewers have been linked to the free agent reliever, Stark adds.
An ex-Ranger is heading to the AL East, as Mike Napoli and the Red Sox agreed to a three-year contract earlier today. However, there's still plenty of activity going on out west, so let's round up a few items from the AL West....
- The Mariners and Rangers sound like the two biggest suitors besides the Nationals for Adam LaRoche, says Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (Twitter link).
- As the Angels eye Sean Burnett, they continue to have interest in other relief options, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (via Twitter). Mike Adams remains a possibility, and the team also checked in on Joakim Soria, though he wants to close.
- The Mariners remain open to signing a defensive catcher, tweets Greg Johns of MLB.com.
- The Mariners had "no idea" that the Red Sox were closing in on an agreement with Napoli, GM Jack Zduriencik tells Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.