Why Mike Adams' Injury Will Have Phillies Selling at Trade Deadline

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIJune 25, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 09: Michael Young #10 and Chase Utley #26 of the Philadelphia Phillies look on as Mike Adams #37 warms up in the ninth inning of the game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on April 9, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 8-3. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)
Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images

Mike Adams was the most recent member of the Philadelphia Phillies to hit the DL after tearing his shoulder in three places.

According to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly, Adams tore his labrum in two places and his rotator cuff in one. Adams was far from optimistic after receiving the news.

Not good. I’ve got some tears in there—rotator cuff and labrum...This season doesn't look good—highly unlikely...This year almost probably a no.


Adams was one of the most reliable relievers in MLB from 2009 through 2011, posting ERAs of 0.73, 1.76 and 1.47, respectively. He could always be counted on to come in and shut the opposing team down for an inning or two.

The Phillies went out and acquired Adams at the end of last season, signing him to a two-year, $12 million deal.

According to Salisbury, Adams' course of recovery has yet to be decided:

Adams said a course of remedy has not yet been established. He could have surgery or opt for a strength and rehab program that would require up to 12 weeks. Either way, he figures his season is over.


This injury is another tough blow to take for the Phillies. The bullpen is now without Michael Stutes, Jeremy Horst and Adams, leaving the team without much depth in the pen.

The Phillies need their bullpen to stay on top of its game, as the team isn't exactly getting the starting pitching it was hoping for.

With Roy Halladay on the 60-day DL and Cole Hamels struggling, the only effective starting pitcher on the roster is Cliff Lee. The team is going to have a tough time overcoming its eight-game deficit in the NL East, and the wild card is even further out of reach.

As the season nears the halfway mark, the Phillies need to be considering putting their star players on the trading block and trying to rebuild after reaching this point of the season five games under .500 and falling further and further behind in the playoff race.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. has said that he is not interested in being a seller at the trade deadline, as he told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports: "Yes. But I'm not trading anyone." In regards to dealing Lee and Papelbon, Amaro said, "I never say never. But it's our job to win, and these are guys who are hard to replace."

Heyman proceeded to break down what the Phillies' front office might be thinking as the trade deadline approaches:

The Phillies' commitment to winning remains foremost, and even the high salaries of Lee, who has $76 million to go through 2015 (and $90 million through '16, assuming he reaches his very makeable vesting requirements), and Papelbon, who has $33 million to go through '15 (and $46 million through '16 if his deal vests) won't spur the team to deal them.

Much more likely to be dealt if the Phillies ultimately decide to trade would be veteran positional stars Chase Utley and Michael Young, who are in the last year of their long-term deals. Young has just over $8 million left on his $16 million 2013 salary, and Utley has about $8 million to go on his $15 million salary.

However, Amaro doesn't have much of a choice when it comes to the trade deadline after the injury to Adams.

As far as playoff contention, the Phillies are most definitely on the outside looking in, as the injury-plagued team is sliding down the NL standings.

While Amaro is obviously reluctant to trade his elite players, he also doesn't appear willing to make deals to replace the guys he has lost:

Amaro said likely to go with what they have in pen. Prices are high. He said wont mortgage future for sixth or seventh inn guy.

—Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) June 26, 2013


If the Phillies are unwilling to be buyers at the deadline it is unlikely that the team will be able to work its way into contention, and the front office undoubtedly knows that.

Jonah Keri of Grantland has noted that the Phillies should be looking to sell as July approaches:

GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. and his bosses are either delusional, in denial, terribly misguided, or all of the above. Sure, making drastic changes to a team that's ascended to elite revenue-generating status thanks to big crowds and a pending TV megascore carries risk. But so too does clinging to a group of fading veterans and watching them limit the Phillies to a string of 75-win seasons.


Despite Amaro's comments about not wanting to trade, it's obvious to just about everyone else, including the fans, that the Phillies should sell:

Ruben Amaro Jr. needs to grow some balls and trade some Phillies players like Paul Holmgren did with the Flyers.

—Steph M (@stephmuller_) June 25, 2013


With the team boasting one of the oldest rosters in MLB and having trade chips like Lee, Papelbon, Utley, Young and more, the team has to be in rebuilding mode and has to be among the sellers at the deadline.