Mike Adams' injury puts serious dent in trade value

Mike Adams' injury puts serious dent in trade value
June 9, 2014, 10:30 am
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Mike Adams had allowed no earned runs in his last 14 appearances before being placed on the 15-day DL on June 7. (USA Today Images)

Overshadowed by Ken "100 Miles" Giles' promotion to the Phillies this past weekend was the impact of Mike Adams' trip to the disabled list.

Adams has a 2.12 ERA and has allowed an earned run in just two of 19 appearances this season -- including none in his last 14 outings.

At 25-36, the Phillies don't appear to be headed anywhere meaningful in 2014, but they do have a good number of tradable assets, none perhaps more realistically movable than Adams.

Contenders always look for bullpen help by the trade deadline, and Adams had not only been pitching lights-out but also has a lengthy track record of success as a setup man.

But this DL stint caused by right rotator cuff inflammation will surely give potential suitors pause.

After all, Adams is 35 years old and had shoulder surgery just last summer. That came less than 10 months after Adams had a rib removed in a surgical procedure to correct thoracic outlet syndrome.

Throw in this latest bout of shoulder trouble and Adams' trade value has shrunk considerably. What team will be willing to deal a prospect and/or pay Adams the prorated version of his $7 million salary when the shoulder issue could arise at any point in August or September?

For the Phillies, it's the latest disaster in a season full of them. It's not quite as impactful as Cliff Lee's elbow injury -- which removes most of their ability to bring back a haul of prospects for one of the best pitchers in baseball -- but it's a problem nonetheless.

Adams is eligible to return from the DL toward the end of June, just over four weeks before the trade deadline. For him to regain some of his trade value, he'll need to pitch well and pitch more regularly than he was before the injury. Prior to hitting the DL, Adams had pitched just once in seven days.

The return for even a healthy Adams wouldn't have been difference-making for the Phillies' farm system, but it would have been a way to add an arm or bat with upside.

Last July, the Braves traded former first-round pitcher Cory Rasmus to the Angels for Scott Downs, a lefty reliever who is older and less effective historically than Adams.

To acquire late-inning righty Jose Veras from the Astros, the Tigers traded promising 19-year-old pitcher David Paulino and outfielder Danry Vasquez, whom Detroit liked enough to give $1.2 million to sign when he was just 16 years old.

This isn't to say that Adams definitely won't get traded this season. Even if he can't return and pitch effectively before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, he could be moved in August if he clears waivers or is claimed by a contender.

But it does take a lot of the luster away from a reliever who looked like he'd recaptured the magic he had from 2008 to 2012.

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