There's a lot of wasted money on the Philadelphia Phillies roster this season. We're talking about a team with the third-biggest payroll ($180 million) in MLB and the sixth-worst record (58-72, at the start of play Monday).
Ryan Howard is getting paid $25 million to hit .222. Cliff Lee is getting the same paycheck and he's started 13 games. Looking at the wastefulness of the Phillies, it's hard to blame relief pitcher Mike Adams. He's a righty who signed a two-year contract to join the Phillies before the 2013 season for $13 million (with an option for a third season). Yet Adams, 37, is the one who's apologetic for "stealing" money from the team.
Adams has been injured much of the past two seasons with chronic shoulder issues, making just 47 total appearances in 2013 and 2014. Because of that, he feels guilty and told Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly on Monday:
“When I signed here two years ago, I expected a lot more than what I've done,” Adams said. “There probably isn't anyone more disappointed by the situation than myself. I proclaimed it would be a good three-year deal, and obviously it hasn't worked out that way. I said I didn't want to steal money, and that's exactly what happened.”
Stealing money?!? It's nice that he thinks that. It wins Adams points with Everyday Joes and Janes around the country who scoff at how much money pro athletes make. But in the context of the Phillies and Major League Baseball as a whole, Adams hardly registers as much of a "thief."
Johan Santana made $25.5 million last season from the New York Mets and didn't throw a single pitch because of injuries. Prince Fielder is making $24 million this season and played in just 42 games for the Texas Rangers.
Sure, Adams didn't get as much use as he or the Phillies hoped when he signed, but 47 appearance in two seasons is at least something. Relief pitchers on the high end appear in about 70-80 games per year. Adams still has hope that he'll pitch again this season to add to his total. He's being assigned to Triple-A this week for rehab work. He hopes to join the Phillies again in September.
Whether he does or not isn't relevant much to whether Adams swindled his team. Because when you're playing for the 2014 Phillies, it's actually quite hard to look like the biggest waste of money.
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