Phils Land Set Up Man Adams & Starter Lannan

Phils reach agreement with reliever Adams

Deal is for two years, $12 million, with vesting option

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies have found their setup man.

MLB.com confirmed the Phillies have agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract with right-hander Mike Adams.

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 65 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.

The deal is pending a physical.

Pitcher Mike Adams of the San Diego Padres

Pitcher Mike Adams

Adams, 34, 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 had surgery in October for thoracic outlet syndrome. It is a condition in which a rib bone presses against a nerve, causing pain and numbness in the arm. MLB.com reported in October that Adams is expected to be ready for Spring Training, although that remains to be seen.

KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi, Texas, first reported late Friday night the Phillies had agreed to terms with the reliever.

 

Phillies agree to one-year deal with Lannan

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies not only found their setup man this weekend, they also found their fifth starter.

Sources told MLB.com that the Phillies have agreed to terms with right-hander Mike Adams to be their setup man and left-hander John Lannan to be their fifth starter. CSNPhilly.com first reported the Lannan deal. CBS Sports reported Lannan has agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

The deals are pending physicals.

Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles May ...

John Lannan

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., recently said the club was looking for a low-risk, high-reward starter to replace Vance Worley, who the Phillies shipped to Minnesota in the Ben Revere trade. Lannan seems to fit the bill.

Lannan, 28, is 42-52 with a 4.01 ERA in 134 starts in his career, which he has spent entirely with the Nationals. But Lannan, who has started twice for the Nationals on Opening Day, became expendable in a stacked Washington rotation.

Lannan is a ground-ball pitcher, which could help him at Citizens Bank Park, although he has a 6.49 ERA in eight career starts in Philadelphia.

But the Phillies wanted a veteran presence to fill out the back of the rotation, which includes Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Phils Add Right Handed Bullpen Help With Chad Qualls

Phils bolster bullpen with veteran righty Qualls

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies wanted more bullpen depth, so Tuesday they signed right-hander Chad Qualls to a one-year, $1.15 million contract.

Qualls, 33, is expected to join a ‘pen that could include Jonathan Papelbon, Jose Contreras, Antonio Bastardo, Mike Stutes, Kyle Kendrick and Dontrelle Willis, with several others in the mix in Spring Training.

Chad Qualls

Qualls provides the Phils another veteran right-handed arm, which might prove necessary because of the uncertainty surrounding Contreras’ health. Contreras had right elbow surgery last year, and while the Phillies believe he could be ready close to Opening Day, nobody is certain.

“Chad was one of those guys that was available to us at a reasonable price for what he can do,” Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday. “He has the ability to pitch in the seventh and the eighth. We’ll see where he fits. [Manager] Charlie [Manuel] and [pitching coach Rich] Dubee and Chad will decide that, but he’s certainly a guy with a power-sinker and power-slider combination.

“He was throwing very well at the end of the year. He’s had some battles with consistency, but he clearly has ability and some durability. And those are pretty important elements.”

Qualls, 33, went 6-8 with a 3.51 ERA in 77 appearances last season with the Padres. He had a 1.96 ERA in his final 19 appearances, but he went 4-5 with a 5.05 ERA in 38 appearances on the road, compared to 2-3 with a 2.09 ERA in 39 appearances in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.

“We looked at it. We saw it,” Amaro said. “We took a look at some of that data and information, but at the end of the day, when we discussed it with our scouts, we just felt like this type of a risk on a guy was not all that big of a risk. We kind of know what we’re going to get out of him.”

Right-handers hit just .218 with a .537 OPS against Qualls last season, while left-handers had much better success, hitting .320 with an .881 OPS.

Qualls has more appearances (512) over the previous seven seasons than any other pitcher. He is 38-34 with a 3.78 ERA and 51 saves in 537 career appearances with Houston, Arizona, Tampa Bay and San Diego.

His deal includes performance and award bonuses. He will wear No. 50.

“If he’s throwing strikes regularly, he’ll do some damage for us,” Amaro said.

Amaro said he does not expect any similar moves before the beginning of Spring Training on Feb. 19.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Valdez Agrees To 1 Year, $1 Mil Contract

Valdes Agrees To 1 Year Contract

Wilson Valdez has agreed to a one-year contract with the Phillies, Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced today.

Valdez’s $930,000 contract includes award bonuses.

Valdez appeared in 99 games for the Phillies last season, batting .249 with 14 doubles, four triples, one home run and 30 RBI.  With runners in scoring position, the 33-year-old batted .370.  Defensively, Valdez made 33 starts at second base, 21 at third base and 20 at shortstop, while also earning the win in his first career relief appearance on May 25 against the Cincinnati Reds.

Right fielder Hunter Pence is the Phillies’ lone remaining player eligible for salary arbitration.

What’s In Store For Joe Blanton This Season?

Can Blanton bounce back in 2012?

COREY  SEIDMANcontributor.png

Four of five rotation spots are set for the Phillies heading into 2012 — it’s hard to envision Vance Worley being asked to do anything but pick up from where he left off.

Joe Blanton, however, has a small chance of losing his starting job to Kyle Kendrick or one of the many depth-starters the Phillies signed this off-season.

It is unlikely, but if Blanton shows up to Spring Training out of shape or still feeling pain in his elbow, he could quickly become an unusable and untradeable asset.

Ricky Bottalico touched on this subject Tuesday on Comcast SportsNet’s “Phillies Hot Stove.”

“[Blanton’s] gotta come in there, prove that he’s healthy, make sure he’s coming into Spring Training at 100 percent,” Bottalico said. “If he does not do that, I think there could be problems for the Phillies. You’re basically in a situation where you may have to eat $8 million.”

Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton warming up before...

Trade talks surrounded Blanton from the day after the Phillies signed Cliff Lee last winter until Blanton went on the shelf for the first time with a sore elbow. At one point, Blanton’s three-year, $24 million contract looked appealing to teams in need of a middle-of-the-rotation starter. But now, he’ll have to come back and make a handful of quality starts to generate any real trade value. Without doing so, no team will be willing to take on a significant portion of Blanton’s salary or part with an attractive enough minor leaguer to make a trade worthwhile.

“If he does come back healthy, either you give him a job as a fourth starter, or you throw him out to the wolves and see what you can get for him,” Bottalico said.

Of course, it’s a bit of a catch-22, because while you can’t trade Blanton without him proving his value, if he does come back and pitch well, the Phils might not have a reason to deal him. The upcoming season is Blanton’s last under contract with the Phillies.

Bottalico thinks Blanton can bounce back, but it should be noted that Blanton wasn’t all that effective even when healthy in 2010. In that season, Blanton had a 4.82 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 176 innings. His control was very good, but his strike-throwing came at the expense of allowing 10.6 hits per nine innings, one full hit over his career mark. He was a bit unlucky, stranding two percent fewer baserunners than usual and seeing his balls in play drop for hits 32 percent of the time rather than 29 percent. But it wasn’t as if his high ERA could have been blamed solely on misfortune.

Blanton has been with the Phils since midway through the 2008 season, but he is still one of the toughest players to predict moving forward. His National League resume includes one impressive season in which he struck out five percent more batters than ever before (2009), one slightly less than mediocre year (2010) and one season riddled with injuries (2011).

What stood out during that 2009 season was Blanton’s changeup. Whether it was the result of a full season under changeup-maven Rich Dubee or just a fluke, Blanton that year saved 1.98 runs on every 100 changeups. Since the start of 2010, the pitch has cost Blanton 8.1 runs.
The Phils won’t need a ton from Blanton next season… 175 innings with a 4.40 ERA would suffice based on the context of Charlie Manuel’s team. Whether Blanton reaches those goals is dependent on the health of his elbow and the strength of a secondary pitch – if not the changeup than his slider.

For more statistical musings from Corey Seidman, visit Brotherly Glove and Phillies Nation SEIDMAN ON TWITTER