They took care of their issues in center field. Now the Phils have turned their attention to the bullpen.
Veteran setup man Mike Adams is joining the team on a two-year, $12 million contract that features a vesting option for 21015. There are a few ways that he can qualify for that third year according to Todd Zolecki:
The deal has a vesting option for 2015. If Adams makes 120 appearances in 2013-14 with 60 appearances in 2014, the contract vests for $6.5 million. Or if he makes just 60 appearances in 2014 it vests for $6 million. The Phillies also have a club option for $6 million, if Adams doesn’t hit those marks.
Signing Adams accomplishes two very important things: The Phillies now have a proven arm in a bullpen that will feature mostly young guys (and a man two clicks short of joining an insane asylum), plus they acquire a righty who has a lot of experience in the eighth inning, a frame that was not all that nice to watch during the entirety of 2012.
Of course, every bullpen pitcher is a crapshoot, and there will be times he falters. Adams, much like his former and new teammate Michael Young, didn’t have the best year in 2012, posting an ERA of 3.27 in 61 appearances. He is just a year removed from a season with 75 appearance, a 1.47 ERA, and a 5.29 K/BB ratio, so perhaps Ruben Amaro, Jr. and company are thinking the same thing with this former Texas Ranger.
As someone who feels this team will e competitive in 2013 but not fight for a playoff spot, I wouldn’t have been too upset if they failed to sign a proven vet for the pen. However, if they are able to find a corner outfielder and a fifth starter sometime soon, the prospects for a better year might become a bit more, shall we say, attractive. That also assume a lot of things, like health and performance from guys like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Roy Halladay, and that Charlie Manuel doesn’t use Adams five times every single week…
Only 59 days until pitchers and catchers report, so we’ll find out soon enough!