First, the Phils agreed to terms on a two-year contract with one of baseball’s best set-up men, righthander Mike Adams.
But a busy Saturday morning continued when they also plucked former Washington Nationals starter John Lannan off the free agent market, too.
According to multiple reports, begining with CSNPhilly.com, the Phils have come to terms on a one-year, $2.5 million deal with Lannan, a lefthander who is the odds-on favorite to assume the rotation spot vacated by Vance Worley. The 28-year-old Lannan is 42-52 with a 4.01 ERA in 134 career games, all starts, from 2007 to 2012.
After the Nationals added Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson to their healthy stable of starters last winter, Lannan was pushed out of the rotation and spent most of 2012 in Triple A. Lannan went 4-1 with a 4.13 ERA in six starts with Washington in 2012.
Lannan’s addition to the Phillies is hardly surprising. With an eye on still adding a high profile bat to the lineup and a proven, trustworthy arm to the back of the bullpen, Ruben Amaro Jr. said he was looking for a “low-risk, high-reward” type guy.
“Or somebody’s who’s come back from an injury or someone like that who can battle for that fifth spot,” Amaro said. “A lot of teams have had some success looking for that guy late in the season and finding that productive guy. So that’s one possibility.”
In choosing an inexpensive option for the rotation, the Phils were able to instead spend a reported $12 million on Adams. The 34-year-old Adams has a 2.28 ERA in 358 major league games with the Brewers, Padres and Rangers.
He will take over the eighth-inning job the Phils desperately needed in 2012. Of the 363 2/3 innings Adams has pitched in his career, 228 of them have come in the eighth inning. In that eighth inning work, Adams has a 1.82 ERA with 237 strikeouts and 63 walks.
With Adams and Lannan in the fold, Amaro’s last big chore is to find an everyday, proven outfielder.
Nick Swisher and Cody Ross are the most attractive outfield bats on the free agent market. Michael Cuddyer and Alfonso Soriano are two veterans who could come available in a trade.
After spending less than $14 million on the foursome of Adams, Lannan, third baseman Michael Young and centerfielder Ben Revere, the Phils should have ample salary left to acquire one of those bats.