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Phillies and Mike Adams agree to two-year, $12 million contract

Dec 15, 2012, 9:03 AM EDT

Mike Adams AP

UPDATE: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies and Mike Adams have agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract, pending a physical. The deal includes a vesting option for 2015.

1:54 AM: Mike Adams won’t get a chance to close after finding himself in free agency for the first time, but he will get closer-type money to set up for Jonathan Papelbon in Philadelphia.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown, the Phillies and Adams are close to a two-year deal with a vesting option for 2015. Citing family sources, KRIS-TV reported earlier that it’d be a three-year, $18 million pact, and while that doesn’t seem quite correct, the dollars are probably about right.

Adams, long one of the game’s best setup men, had a 3.27 ERA in 61 appearances for the Rangers last season. He allowed just one homer all year until his last appearance, when he gave up three, and then he was shut down the next day because of thoracic outlet syndrome. The condition required surgery, but he’s expected to be ready for spring training.

Having Adams available to work the eighth will take some pressure off young Phillies relievers such as Phillippe Aumont, Justin De Fratus and Jake Diekman. With Adams likely making $6 million per year and Papelbon earning $12.5 million, the Phillies will have one of the game’s most expensive bullpens. Fortunately, they’ll make up for it by having one of the cheapest outfields after trading Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino last summer and acquiring Ben Revere to take over in center.

  1. somekat - Dec 15, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    Solid signing for RAJ and the Phils. Still think they need an bat in the corner outfield, but don’t really see one available. I guess they are hoping Ruff wasn’t a fluke, and Brown can take the next step.

    But outside of that, the biggest hole the Phils had was the setup role. While this is an expensive option, history shows it is a very good option. If they had Adam’s number in the setup role last year, they probably make the playoffs. They blew at least 20 games in the 8th last year

  2. irishphilly87 - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    Love the move. Our pen was horrific and cost over 20 games… Lets say those 20 half of them turned to wins theyd have 91 wins

    • paperlions - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      Philly had a total of 19 blown saves last year (note, a save can be blown any time after the 5th inning and the starter is removed, and a save can be blown multiple times in one game), which was league average.

      Philly’s blown saves since 2008 have been: 15, 22, 19, 8, and 19….so last year was pretty much a normal year for both Philly and baseball in general in terms of leads blown by the bullpen.

      • ewyorksockexchange - Dec 15, 2012 at 1:49 PM

        The blown saves weren’t really the issue though. Last year there were an awful lot of games where the phils offense was able to bring the team to within a couple of runs or to a tie later in the game, only to have the next bullpen give up several runs immediately thereafter. The Phils didn’t blow that many saves, but their bullpen took them completely out of a lot of games and often killed momentum by allowing long innings. A blown save is not the only way for the bullpen to hurt you and cost you games.

      • paperlions - Dec 15, 2012 at 1:56 PM

        Fair enough. Then let’s look at the Philly bull pen work in general, just using ERA as a rough estimate of performance overall.

        Since 2008: 3.22, 3.91, 4.02, 3.45, and 3.94. So…last year the bull pen was about the same as it was in 2009 and 2010, and all of those values are pretty much within the norm of variation for inter-annual relief performances.

        In short, any implication that the bull pen doomed the Phillies 2012 season is just wrong. Indeed, the starters declined far more in 2012 compared to 2011 than the relievers did.

      • ewyorksockexchange - Dec 15, 2012 at 2:10 PM

        Strictly using ERA as a method of evaluating the effect of bullpen performance is shaky at best. It doesn’t account for situations, which are what the bullpen is all about. Without focusing on specific situations and instead looking at aggregate ERA, you’re missing the complexity of the relationship.

        One of the major elements this overlooks is that poor situational performance effects future usage. Sometimes (often, actually) poor outings by players the game before leads Charlie to leave the starters in too long, and they get roughed up. The bullpen didn’t give up those runs, but they are partially responsible for them because of how they factor into Charlie’s decision. This is a direct effect of the poor bullpen performance on a team’s prospects to win games without having that effect recorded as ERA. And your point that the starters took a bigger step backwards than the bullpen only furthers my point.

      • paperlions - Dec 15, 2012 at 2:13 PM

        Again…that’s fine. So provide me with something beyond narrative that supports the argument that the Philly bullpen was their downfall last year. Telling stories isn’t evidence, it is story telling.

      • ewyorksockexchange - Dec 15, 2012 at 2:26 PM

        Well, I don’t have the time to go through game by game to evaluate each pitch like the people who get paid to do this stuff do. Unfortunately, it actually takes a lot of work to get hard numbers to demonstrate this stuff, which is why so many people fall back on misleading stats to prove a point. Plus, demonstrating Charlie’s true motivations in making any one decision is pretty difficult. I can try to do a sample set by looking at a couple weeks or something, but that wouldn’t be representative of the whole season and I don’t have the time to do that anyway.

        Also, I’m not sure where you’re from, but I watched every pitch of every game for the past few years. I don’t have the stats readily available to disprove your assertion that the bullpen wasn’t a problem, but I do have the first hand viewing experience to put two and two together. Sometimes there isn’t a nice stat to encapsulate cause and effect in baseball. Sometimes there is, but not always. I think it’s safe to say, in any event, that evaluating a bullpen purely by it’s ERA, as you did, is at best a flawed methodology.

      • irishphilly87 - Dec 15, 2012 at 3:21 PM

        Im a diehard Phillies fan and its not just about “blowing saves” iits the eye test… They were horrific they absolutely stunk and it was way more obvious than the pastfew years. It was Alfonseca and Jose Mesa bad

      • paperlions - Dec 15, 2012 at 3:39 PM

        Ah, the always reliable eye-ball test.

        Alas, I am defeated.

      • thereisaparty - Dec 15, 2012 at 4:49 PM

        @paperlions: Like you, I also didn’t watch EVERY pitch in EVERY game, but I do have some more numbers for illustration purposes.

        2012 bullpen: 0.7 RA9-Wins (11th in NL), -2.90 WPA (12th), -17.14 RE24 (11th), -2.96 Clutch (16th), 115 SD (t-11th), 74 MD (9th), 418.1 IP (16th)

        2011 bullpen: 4.8 RA9-Wins (9th in NL), 4.53 WPA (3rd), 11.88 RE24 (8th), 2.55 Clutch (2nd), 125 SD (10th), 52 MD (1st), 412.1 IP (16th)

        2012 rotation: 16.3 RA9-Wins (4th in NL), 97 ERA- (6th), 95 FIP- (3rd), 16.15 RE24 (6th)
        2011 rotation: 29.8 RA9-Wins (1st in NL), 75 ERA- (1st), 77 FIP- (1st), 102.27 RE24 (1st)

      • sarcasticks - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:02 PM

        I have no idea how many games the bullpen cost the Phillies last year. There are so many interconnected variables to consider that it is quite difficult to get a single number. The Phillies are better off with Adams than without him, assuming that he approximates his past results. That’s all I can really feel confident about. And while I enjoy a good statistical pissing contest as much as the next guy, dinner just hit the table.

      • paperlions - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:05 PM

        Haha….I totally agree. Of course they are better off with Adams in the pen that without him….but the idea that there are 10 wins to gain with one or 2 bullpen moves is just silly. Adams = better bullpen, maybe a game or two better.

      • schmedley69 - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:12 PM

        Once again, paperlions chimes without having actually watched the games. Anyone one who watched the Phillies on a consistent basis last year knew that their bullpen was a major issue that cost them a lot of games, especially in the first half of the season. In past seasons, like 2009 when Brad Lidge blew a ton of games, the Phillies had a great offense to make up for the bad bullpen. Now that they aren’t an offensive juggernaut anymore, every run is crucial. So maybe statistically the bullpen wasn’t that much different than past years, but in reality (something some of you SABR extremists don’t like deal in), the bullpen was a major problem that needed to be upgraded. Hopefully Adams is healthy.

      • paperlions - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:17 PM

        Funny, all I keep reading is *sticks fingers in ears* lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala*.

        If you saw what you think you saw, there should be some evidence of it, but none is forth coming.

      • schmedley69 - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:24 PM

        Ok, Phillies fan, I guess we were all wrong. We didn’t really see the Phillies bullpen implode and cost them a bunch of games last year. paperlions and his magic SABR metrics crystal ball has looked back on the stats and proven that it never actually happened. It was all just a bad dream. I think we all owe Chad Qualls an apology. He wasn’t that bad after rall. If you look at the stats, he was actually just major league average for a reliever.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:03 AM

        Phillies 8th inning the last 5 years:

        2008 – 3.94 ERA
        2009 – 3.69 ERA
        2010 – 2.28 ERA
        2011 – 3.78 ERA
        2012 – 4.67 ERA

        This moves makes the team better. Period.

    • chrisvegas - Dec 17, 2012 at 8:08 PM

      Obviously paperlions doesn’t watch Baseball. lol The Phils Bullpen was horrible last year and anyone who watched the Phillies play knows that.

  3. andyreidisthegoat - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    So no one has seen this guy throw since the surgery. Ok. Sounds like a good signing. Last time this guy was seen he gave up 3 moon shots. This is raj doing something just to do something. Maybe it will work but I think the corner outfielder was more important and probably missed the chance to fire manual and hire Sandberg.. Charlie has cost you a few rings.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Dec 15, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      It’s not Manual’s fault the bats fell completely silent the past few playoff series. A manager can only do so much before it falls on the players to perform.

    • sarcasticks - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:07 PM

      I agree that corner outfield is a more pressing need, but it can still be addressed. I wouldn’t judge Adams’ value based on one game of three home runs. The surgery is more concerning, but $12 million for two years is a reasonable price to balance his risk versus potential performance.

      Manuel likely won’t be fired, he will either retire, or be absorbed by the franchise as a consultant or other front office position. I don’t believe Charlie cost any rings himself, but I do know he contributed to one in 2008, so I’ll take it. And Sandberg can be promoted at any time, if the Phillies want to go that route.

  4. phillyfanmatt - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    They didn’t miss out on the chance to fire Charlie and hire Sandburg. He is on their coaching staff. They can do that at anytime if the want.

    • andyreidisthegoat - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:27 PM

      No they did miss out on a chance to fire charlie. Now they’ll probably be better than they were last year and make the playoffs but he’ll mismanage the team enough not to win the WS. Which is all that really matters for a team like the phils at this point. they now have no leverage to fire him and will look like villians if they fire one of the most beloved managers in Philly hx. Sandberg probably has a year as bench coach and somebody will want to make this guy their manager. So that is what I meant by the opportunity may have passed to fire him.

  5. miketreedy - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    I thought the Rangers were supposed to have all this money to spend. They not only aren’t going to increase salaries this year but after losing Hamilton, Napoli, Young and Adams they have actually dropped their payroll significantly. Starting to feel like we have the Marlins of Texas going on here.

    • thereisaparty - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:36 AM

      FA signings come with winner’s curse. And it usually means a team is paying a great player for his good years (post-peak). The Rangers have a few logjams created by MLB-ready talent (whether they will preform at a first-division level is uncertain). I doubt this has anything to do with financial strains and more with (perceived) most efficient use of resources.

  6. bleed4philly - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Great move!!!

  7. mgflolox - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    Great, but… What. About. His henchmen?!?!?!?!?!

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