The Cardinals and first baseman Matt Adams have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.8MM, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports (on Twitter). That figure is an exact match with the projection from MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz.
Adams, 28, missed roughly three weeks of the 2016 season with shoulder troubles but was productive in a part-time role when healthy. The slugging lefty batted .249/.309/.471 with 16 homers in a 327 trips to the plate. The shoulder injury and Adams’ deficiencies against left-handed pitching combined to limit his on-field action last season, and with Matt Carpenter penciled in as the everyday first baseman for the 2017 club, he’s unlikely to see an increase in playing time (barring injuries elsewhere on the roster). Adams has been mentioned as a possible trade candidate this winter, and the Royals are one team that has shown some preliminary interest. However, the free-agent market is flooded with players of comparable skill sets that don’t figure to come with significant asking prices at this point, which likely limits interest Adams to some extent.
Adams has long been a weapon against right-handed pitching when healthy, mashing opposite-handed pitchers at a .284/.331/.480 clip in his career. Lefties have befuddled the big man, however, as he’s mustered a woeful .212/.243/.342 slash against them. Durability has also been an issue for Adams in the past. In addition to last year’s shoulder troubles, he had brief DL stints for oblique and calf injuries in 2013 and 2014, respectively, before missing about half of the 2015 campaign with a torn right quadriceps muscle.
This marks the second trip through the arbitration process for Adams, who will be eligible once more next winter before becoming a free agent upon completion of the 2018 campaign. Remember that you can follow along with this year’s arb class using MLBTR’s 2017 Arbitration Tracker.