When Cliff Lee went down with his elbow injury in the middle of May there were some concerned faces around Citizens Bank Park of fans who dreamed of getting a haul for Lee at the deadline. While that dream might not be totally dead as Lee is targeting a mid-July return, the chances of Lee getting moved certainly took a major hit.
With that being said, it was an injury to another player that hurts even more. Mike Adams was one of the more reliable arms in the Phillies bullpen for the first two months of the season. Aside from Jonathan Papelbon, he sported the best ERA of all Phillies relievers.
Then he went down.
The 35-year-old reliever has inflammation in his right rotator cuff which is terrible for a guy who had surgery on his labrum last July. He was having his best season since 2011 as he posted a 2-1 record with a 2.12 ERA while allowing six runs (four earned) in 17.0 innings of work this season and had a 20/7 strike-to-walk ratio.
In short, he's been reliable and, until the last three weeks, he was the only reliable right-hander that could setup for Papelbon.
There is always a demand for bullpen help around the trade deadline. No matter how good a team is on paper or on the field, they are constantly looking to improve their team and, in most cases, bolster their bullpen for the stretch run to the playoffs. The 2011 Phillies, who won 102 games, were looking for bullpen help at the deadline which is why they took a long look at Adams before electing to trade for Hunter Pence.
Adams, prior to his injury, would've been one of Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro's most valuable trade chips at the deadline. He was becoming more effective with every appearance and that's something any contender could use. Owed just $3.5 million for the rest of the season and a $6 million for 2015 that likely won't vest, Adams was a perfect rental player who the Phillies could've sold high on for some younger talent.
So while others are upset the Phillies are going to have a tough time moving Lee at the deadline, I'm more upset they will struggle to trade the more realistic Adams.
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