GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Los Angeles Dodgers must decide by April 1 whether veteran reliever Mike Adams will be a member of their Opening Day bullpen or they could owe him an extra $100,000, a stipulation of the current collective bargaining agreement meant to protect veteran players on minor league deals.
Adams didn’t want to get into any of that.
“My whole thought process is, ‘I’ll make the club,’" Adams said. “I’m trying to keep as much doubt out of it as possible.”
That’s easier for him to say now than it was one month ago. After multiple knee surgeries and having dealt with flare-ups to an injured shoulder for the last five years, Adams, 36, was close to calling it a career early in the offseason.
“Very much,” Adams said. “I really didn’t come to a decision on whether I was going to play until mid-February. I had teams calling and asking what was going on, but I just told them, ‘Let me continue my throwing program, see how I feel. If everything feels good, I’ll play.’"
Apparently, it did and here he is. Adams signed with the Dodgers on Monday, 11 days after the rest of the camp’s pitchers reported to Camelback Ranch. He is scheduled to throw his first bullpen session of camp Monday. If Adams sticks on Opening Day and manages to stay healthy this season, he could be the most important upgrade to the bullpen the Dodgers made. In 10 major-league seasons, he has a 2.41 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of better than three to one. Of course, that’s a big, ‘If.’ Adams has been on the disabled list seven times.
“I didn’t want it to be something where I looked back in a few years and thought, ‘I should have pursued it more. I should have tried one more time,’" Adams said.