According to reports, the Phillies are very close to acquiring free agent right-handed reliever Mike Adams.
9:17 a.m. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com says the two sides have reached an agreement, calling it a two-year, $12 million deal for the veteran set-up man, pending a physical, with a third year vesting option. [Link]
1:30 a.m. Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown reports different terms than the earlier KRIS-TV report, calling it a two-year deal with a vesting option for a third year. [Link]
12:30 a.m. KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi, Tex., the hometown of righty set-up man, is reporting the pitcher has come to terms on a deal with the Phillies. The station cited an Adams family member as its source and said the deal is for three years, $18 million.
The Phillies have not commented on the report or if there is a completed deal.
Nevertheless, the Phillies have long coveted Adams as a big piece for the bullpen. Last season Adams went 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA in 61 appearances last season with the Rangers. In eight seasons with the Brewers, Padres and Rangers, Adams is 18-15 with a 2.28 ERA in 358 appearances. He has a 1.98 ERA over the past five seasons, which is third lowest of any reliever in baseball with at least 153 innings pitched.
Adams is not without his question marks, though. He missed the entire 2007 season after having knee surgery and last October he had surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, which is a condition in which a rib bone presses against a nerve and causes pain and numbness in his arm.
However, Adams is expected to be healthy for spring training and if he is signed by the Phillies, the team has a very formidable eighth and ninth inning tandem with Adams and closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Adams has been a set-up man for nearly all of his career. In 246 appearances in the eighth inning of games, Adams has a 1.82 ERA, has held the opposition to a .189 batting average and has 237 strikeouts in 228 innings pitched. In the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, Adams has appeared in 338 games covering 328 2/3 innings, notching 334 strikeouts and posting a 2.08 ERA.
Beerleaguer take: Is there a single move this offseason that stood to improve the club more than adding a stabilizing set-up man? Adams turns the last two frames into a strength and pushes a group of talented, but inexperienced, relievers into lower-leverage roles. Think about how much better this makes Antonio Bastardo, who can be rededicated to handling left-handed hitters, or how much of a runway it gives Phillippe Aumont, or Jake Diekman or Justin De Fratus. That Ryan Madson-esque dependability was noticeably absent during the club's 81-81 dud, a season in which Cliff Lee's first win wasn't converted until July freakin 4th.