The neverending train of overpaying relivers continues, with the Phillies agreeing with veteran Mike Adams on a two-year deal worth $12 million with a vesting option for a third season.
Adams is coming off of his worst season in recent memory, as he pitched to a 3.27 ERA in 52 1/3 innings with the Rangers, striking out 45 and walking 17. That 2.65 strikeout to walk rate is the worst since he was reborn with the Padres in 2008, and marks the first time since that rebirth that he's struck out less than 20% of the hitters he's faced. The home/road splits Adams had in 2012 point to a reason for some of his struggles, as he allowed three homers in Arlington compared to just one on the road, while also posting better strikeout and walk numbers at home. However, that won't change much going to Philadelphia, nearly as good of a park for overall offensive numbers as the Ballpark in Arlington.
Adams is also 34, and coming off of surgery to treat Thorcacic Outlet Syndrome this fall. If you're unfamiliar, that's the ailment that plagued Chris Carpenter this summer that led to surgery for him, but Carpenter was back on the mound after just two months after the six normally required for recovery. Because Adams had the surgery in the fall, he should be ready for Spring Training, but who knows how he'll respond to it. Adams has also had both knee and shoulder surgeries in the past, and his velocity in 2012 dropped to the level it was in 2005, before he even began having injury problems.
This contract is loaded with risk for the Phillies, but at least it's only two years. I'm really not sure why clubs keep giving big money to middle relievers when you can promote a random player from AAA and potentially be able to get the same performance, but then again, the Phillies bullpen was a horror show last season, and doing nothing about it would do nothing to placate the fanbase. If Adams is able to pitch like he did with the Padres prior to being traded to the Rangers, maybe the Phillies can catch lightning in a bottle with him. But at the same time, I think that pitcher might be gone based on what I saw from Adams in 2012.