Jun
30

Scouting The Trade Market: Mike Adams

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Another day, another post about a potential trade target. A few days ago we broke down Heath Bell of the Padres, and now it’s time to look at his bullpen mate, Mike Adams. San Diego is on a nice little roll (won four straight), but they’re still ten games back of both the NL West crown and the NL Wildcard in the loss column. Given the demand for high-end relievers, the Padres have let it be known they’re willing to discuss anyone in their bullpen as long as they get the right pieces in return. Let’s take a look at what Adams can and can not do…

The Pros

  • You might not have heard of him, but Adams has been one of the very best relievers in all of baseball over the last few seasons. Since the start of the 2009 season (min. 120 IP), he leads all big league relievers with a 2.03 FIP, a quarter of a run better than the runner up (Bell). His 1.87 FIP this season is better than last year’s 2.31 mark, but lags behind 2009′s FIP of 1.66.
  • Adams has struck out 10.16 batters per nine innings over the last two-plus seasons while walking just 2.31 per nine. If we remove intentional walks, it’s 2.06 per nine. His strikeout rate remains sky high this season (9.91 K/9), though his walk rate is his best ever (0.99 uIBB/9).
  • A simple man, Adams works with two knockout pitches and a deceptive delivery that is all arms and legs and baggy jersey. His slider has such short and hard break that it looks like a cutter, and he’ll throw it anywhere from 80-90 mph. A two-seamer in the low-90′s is his other pitch, though I’ve seen him reach back and throw a straight four-seamer at 96 in the past.
  • Unlike Bell, Adams is under team control next season as an arbitration-eligible player, which is a fantastic and valuable little piece of flexibility.

The Cons

  • Adams is not that young (33 at the end of July) and he has a lengthy injury history. He had surgery to repair a partially torn labrum after the 2008 season, and it kept him on the shelf until early-June 2009. Some soreness in the shoulder cost him basically all of September that year as well. Adams pitched through a minor but nagging oblique strain for four weeks last summer, and his minor league career is littered with injuries.
  • Although he’s not an extreme fly ball guy, he doesn’t do a great job of keeping the ball on the ground. Since the start of 2009, Adams’ ground ball rate is just 43.8%. Since the start of last season it’s 41.6%. Of the five homers he’s given up since the start of 2009, three have come on the road away from Petco Park, included the two he’s allowed this season.
  • A $2.535M salary is nothing to the Yankees but it is rather expensive for a middle reliever. He’ll earn about $422,500 a month from here on out, and that base salary could put him in line for a $4M payout next season.
  • Adams has never pitched in the postseason, the closest he’s come is pitching in five consecutive days down the stretch last year, when the Padres were tying to fend off the Giants. He pitched in seven of San Diego’s final nine games last season.

As I said when we looked at Bell, adding another dominant, late-game reliever is more of a luxury than a requirement for the Yankees at the time. Both Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman have reported in recent days that the Yankees prefer Adams to Bell, which is good to hear because he’s no worse than Bell’s equal on the mound and is more than just a second half rental. I suspect the prospect cost would be similar, and if you’re going to go take the plunge and trade that much for a reliever, I’d rather do it for the guy you can keep beyond this season rather than pay a premium for the Proven Closer™, everything else being equal.

Categories : Trade Deadline
  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    Unlike Bell, Adams is under team control next season as an arbitration-eligible player, which is a fantastic and valuable little piece of flexibility.

    … which also raises his cost in prospects substantially. The Fathers will be motivated sellers on Bell and Qualls, because they’re on the verge of losing them for nothing but draft picks (if draft pick compensation even exists in the new CBA). They’re much less inclined to move Adams or Gregerson since they can be retained beyond this season. Bell can be had for a decent prospect; you probably need to “blow away” Hoyer to get him to move Adams. Adams is the reason Bell is expendable, not the other way around.

    Methinks the price will be too high.

    • Clay Bellinger

      What do you think he’d cost?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Nova? Betances? Something of that ilk.

        If I’m Hoyer, and I have Bell and Adams, I’m only giving up Adams for a surefire MLB player or a stud, blue-chip prospect. Bell, I might accept less since he’s just a rental.

        Suppose it all depends on the market, though.

        • Clay Bellinger

          Makes sense. It just isn’t imperative for them to move Adams. Nova and Betances would prob be too much for a mid-relief guy.

          • Kosmo

            That´s right ! We´re talking about a soon to be 33 yr old mid reliever for a 24 yr old SP.

          • bobtaco

            OK, would you trade Brackman straight up for Adams?

            • Clay Bellinger

              Yeah, I sure would.

        • Crime Dog

          Didn’t the Padres take Nova as a Rule 5? Maybe they like him a little more than some other teams

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Not only did the Padres take him in the 2008 R5 draft, but apparently that 2009 Spring Training he spent in San Diego’s camp is so historically important, his Wikipedia page pic is in Padre blue.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iv%C3%A1n_Nova

            (shakes head)

            • Owen Two

              Interesting – according to Wikipedia, his first name is actually spelled Iván.

            • http://twitter.com/Bismarck1872 Jerome S.

              He’s only 24?!?!?!

        • Joseph Cecala

          The question is would Adams be worth more than just sticking Nova or Betances?

          • Joseph Cecala

            in the pen*

            I wish there was still the edit feature.

            • Clay Bellinger

              Probably not.

    • Owen Two

      The Yankees don’t need Adams, Mitre’s back.

      /sarcasm

      • Clay Bellinger

        Hah, you knew that was coming. Not bad though. I’d take em over Carlyle.

      • John Kruk’s belly

        The Yankees don’t need Adams Nova, Mitre’s back.

  • CP

    the closest he’s come is pitching in five consecutive days down the stretch last year, when the Padres were tying to fend off the Giants.

    That’s nothing like the playoffs. In the playoffs there’s a game, then a few off days, then a game, then a travel day, then some more time off, and eventually another game.

    • Clay Bellinger

      No, it isn’t at all like the playoffs in that regard, but it’s the highest stress level appearances that he’s had.

      • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

        I think CP was being a bit sarcastic.

        Anyway, I like the idea of trading for a guy who’ll be here for more than the next few months, but that does raise the cost in terms of prospects and I find another multi-million dollar non-closer reliever troublesome. However, if there’s an RP out there who could be worth it, Adams could be that guy.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          I find another multi-million dollar non-closer reliever troublesome. However, if there’s an RP out there who could be worth it,

          – Jonathan Papelbon could be that guy.

          BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM, THAT JUST HAPPENED. IS YOUR MIND BLOWN?

          • Joseph Cecala

            Boston might put a clause in the trade where Paps couldnt be traded to the Yankees.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              If they’re smart, they’ll want Papelbon on the Yankees. In all likelihood, Papelbon’s regression will make whomever gives him his next contract regret doing so.

              • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

                Couldn’t we say tales of his demise are a little overblown (at least results wise)? He’s striking a ton of guys out while walking barely any this season and giving up minimal homers. His FB velo has also been pretty damn consistent per FG.

                • Clay Bellinger

                  Yeah, he is having a pretty nice bounce back year. Still, it’s hard to imagine any long term closer deal ending well.

            • 28 this year

              Boston pushing for a clause that makes it so that every member of the MLBPA is not allowed to sign with the Yankees. Short of that, Boston plans to create such a clause to add to all free agent contracts, even those signing with the Yankees creating a paradox that will transport players to an alternative universe where such paradoxes can exist while ensuring that in this universe, the Yankees can’t sign anyone. In response, the Yankees perfect stem cell treatment and cloning creating an army of the greatest players ever that are prevented from ever entering the MLBPA.

              I dont know why i wrote this.

            • FernandoP

              I have a problem with that trade clause. Why does the league/DUD Selig allow that type of shit?

              Gonzo and Crawford both have that in their contracts. It seems like collusion on the Red Sox part and I can’t see why agents would allow that to be put in. If I’m another trade partner, I want the Yankees as an option since they can absorb salary.

  • steve s

    This guy is the new Jay Witasick. I would pass.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Witasick, through age 32 season:
      349 appearances, 56 starts, 677.1 IP, 4.54 ERA (100 ERA+), 1.528 WHIP, 8.0 K/9, 4.2 BB/9

      Adams, through age 32 season:
      258 appearances, 0 starts, 274.0 IP, 2.17 ERA (180 ERA+), 1.011 WHIP, 9.4 K/9, 2.7 BB/9

      This guy is the new Jay Witasick.

      Yeah… no.

      • steve s

        If you want apples to apples take out the 56 starts and see what you have.

        • Clay Bellinger

          Adams is still far superior. Go take a look.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Witasick, after failing as a starter, ages 28-32:
          257 appearances, 0 starts, 318.0 IP, 3.17 ERA (131 ERA+), 1.327 WHIP, 9.4 K/9, 3.8 BB/9

          Adams, after failing to latch on in the Brewers/Mets/Indians bullpens, same age range (28-32):
          179 appearances, 0 starts, 205.1 IP, 1.71 ERA (218 ERA+), 0.901 WHIP, 10.2 K/9, 2.4 BB/9

          Yeah… still no.

          Mike Adams >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Jay Witasick

        • Pasqua

          But then you’re skewing the stats. That’s the point. Witasick had 400 more innings on his arm than Adams following his age 32 season. If you take out the starts, you’re ignoring the reality of the situation.

      • Clay Bellinger

        …but they both pitched for the Padres. Yankee brass has a strict no Padre policy when it comes to acquiring pitchers.

        /Sherman’d

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          It’s because we got burned by Padres pitchers like Jay Witasick, Kevin Brown, Ed Whitson, Sterling Hitchcock, Brian Boehringer, Buddy Carlyle, Dustin Moseley, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, David Cone, Rollie Fingers, Red Ruffing, and Jack Chesbro.

          • steve s

            You did leave out Andy (no-hit) Hawkins and Lance McCullers (just saying).

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              I also left out notable ex-Padres like Rafael Soriano, Chris Hammond, and Andy Pettitte.

      • jon

        Witasick, through age 32 season as a reliever:

        257 appearances, 0 starts, 318 IP, 3.17 ERA (131 ERA+), 1.327 WHIP, 9.4 K/9, 3.8 BB/9

  • John Kruk’s belly

    I don’t care what anyone says but Adams and Bell will both cost too much. Let’s not forget that other teams will be looking for relief help too.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      I object to what you have to say, John Kruk’s Belly, because you’re an ex-Padre.

  • Jorge

    Chances of this guy turning back into a pumpkin on impact? Probably too much to consider anything more than what we gave up for Kerry Wood which, from the looks of this post, isn’t likely.

    A healthy, effective Bartolo Colon and Phil Hughes is what the team needs most of all.

  • Christian

    We should get clippard, I always liked him and idk y we traded him