Big League Stew

Phillies bolster pitching staff, agree to contracts with veterans Mike Adams and John Lannan

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. went to work early on Saturday morning — and possibly didn't sleep at all last night — to finalize agreements with two veteran pitchers that will be important for their depth in 2013.

According to Yahoo! Sports Tim Brown, the Phillies were moving fast on reliever Mike Adams in the late evening hours on Friday with a Saturday deal likely. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal now reports an agreement between the two sides has been worked out, with Adams accepting a two-year, $12 contract to fill the setup role in front of closer Jonathan Papelbon.

The 34-year-old right-hander has been among the most effective and consistent relievers in the game since the 2008 season. In fact, he posted a sub 2.50 ERA each season until it ballooned to 3.27 in 2012. That rise can be safely attributed to a condition known as thoracic outlet syndrome, which weakened his shoulder, back and neck as the season wore along. In the middle of October, Adams underwent surgery to treat that condition, which should prevent him from being ready for the start of spring training, but it's believed he could be a full go come opening day.

Passing his physical with the Phillies would seemingly confirm that, but the fact they were willing to pay Adams closer money to set up would indicate they aren't overly concerned about health and are likely willing to give him whatever extra time he might need to reach full strength. Once he does, I believe it will have been worth the wait.

We've also learned from Comcast Sport Net Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury that the Phillies have come to terms with John Lannan on a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

The 28-year-old left-hander spent the first six seasons of his big league career with the division rival Washington Nationals, posting a respectable 4.01 ERA in 134 starts. He became the odd man out in 2012, however, with Davey Johnson's squad sporting perhaps the deepest rotation in the National League. Lannan ended up making six starts for Washington at the end of the season, finishing with a 4-1 record and a 4.13 ERA.

He's expected to fill the rotation spot recently vacated by Vance Worley, who was traded to the Minnesota Twins in the Ben Revere deal. If all goes well, he could earn up to $2.5 million more in performance-based incentives. Considering the Nationals stashed him at Triple-A for the majority of the season, I don't think he needed the monetary motivation heading into 2013, but I'm sure he'll gladly accept whatever he earns.

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