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Phillies land a couple of pitchers


February 19. 2013 10:20PM
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PHILADELPHIA — The bridge to Jonathan Papelbon could be a little smoother for the Philadelphia Phillies next year.


The Phillies added a setup man and starter, agreeing to a $12 million, two-year contract with reliever Mike Adams and a one-year deal with lefty John Lannan.


Two people familiar with each deal said Saturday the contract was subject to a physical. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreements were not yet final.


Adams is expected to fill the eighth-inning role for the Phillies. The 34-year-old right-hander was 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA last season for the Texas Rangers.


The 28-year-old Lannan replaces Vance Worley in the starting rotation. Worley was traded to Minnesota last week. Lannan was 4-1 with a 4.13 ERA in six starts for the NL East champion Washington Nationals this year.


Philadelphia has been interested in Adams for a few years, and he fits a pressing need. The Phillies had trouble protecting leads before Papelbon took the ball in the ninth inning. Their 4.89 ERA in the eighth was next-to-last in the majors, and they allowed a league-worst 24 home runs in the inning.


Adams had surgery in October for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a numbing sensation in his fingers that sidelined him the last week of the season, and he's expected to recover by spring training. Adams gave up three home runs in the span of five batters in his last appearance after allowing one in his previous 60 games.


Despite coming off his least-effective season since his rookie year, Adams has been one of the premier setup men in baseball for several seasons. From 2008-12, Adams has a 1.98 ERA in 297 games with 311 strikeouts to 81 walks in 295 innings.


Overall, Adams is 18-15 with a 2.28 ERA in 358 appearances — all in relief — in eight seasons. He pitched for Milwaukee and San Diego before joining the Rangers during the 2011 season.


Adams' deal includes an option for 2015 that would become guaranteed at $6 million if he has 65 games pitched in 2014. His 2015 salary would become guaranteed at $6.5 million if he has 120 games pitched in 2013 and 2014 combined, with at least 60 in 2014.


Lannan was 10-13 with a 3.70 ERA in 2011, and received a $5 million salary when he lost in arbitration. Washington sent him to Triple-A for most of this year, and he entered the rotation in September after the Nationals cut short the season of ace Stephen Strasburg because of a team-imposed innings limit.


Lannan is 42-52 with a 4.01 ERA in 134 games — all starts — in six seasons for Washington. Lannan is known in Philadelphia for being the pitcher who broke Chase Utley's hand in 2007 when he hit him with a pitch. He's struggled throughout his career against the Phillies, going 3-13 with a 5.53 ERA. Lannan is 39-39 with a 3.80 ERA against the rest of the majors.



New York Yankees hit with $18.9M luxury tax

NEW YORK — The New York Yankees were hit with an $18.9 million luxury tax by Major League Baseball, the 10th consecutive year they will pay a penalty for their spending.


The team finished with a $222.5 million payroll for purposes of the tax, according to figures sent to teams Thursday and obtained by The Associated Press.


Following its payroll-shedding trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers last summer, Boston finished just $47,177 under the $178 million threshold. The Los Angeles Angels wound up at $176.7 million and Philadelphia at $174.5 million.


Figures include average annual values of contracts for players on 40-man rosters, earned bonuses and escalators, adjustments for cash in trades and $10.8 million per team in benefits.


New York has run up a luxury tax bill of $224.2 million over the past decade, with the fee increasing from $13.9 million last year. The Yankees' tax rate rose from 40 percent to 42.5 percent this year and figures to climb to 50 percent next season. But they hope to get under the threshold in 2014, when it rises to $189 million. Dropping under the threshold would lower their potential tax rate in 2015 to 17.5 percent.




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