Plenty of weird things about David Adams showing up today, beginning with the fact the Yankees released him just a few weeks ago. It’s also his 26th birthday, and he’s making his debut against the Mariners, the team that very nearly traded for him in 2010.
“I think he came onto the radar for a lot of people around the Cliff Lee time,” Joe Girardi said. “That was probably when he appeared on the radar the closest to our screen. I had heard about his ability and that he was a young man that had a lot of upside. He was one of our top prospects. I hadn’t really seen much of him, and then I heard a lot about him.”
The story of that botched Cliff Lee trade has lingered with Adams. He was supposed to be in the deal — said he heard about it when he saw his name on the scroll at the bottom of his hotel television, which said the trade was done — but ultimately, the Mariners didn’t like the medical reports, backed out and sent Lee to Texas. At least that’s the story the Yankees got from Seattle. The whole thing was quite odd when you consider Adams had been hurt for a month and a half — meaning the injury was hardly a secret — and the Mariners seemed to really covet Justin Smoak. But whatever was going on in those Mariners meetings, the easy explanation was that Adams wrecked the deal.
That’s been his legacy.
“There’s still people who come up to me and question me about it,” Adams said. “I’ve never thought anything of it. Trades fall through all the time. Who knows what was going on behind the scenes? That’s the way I look at it. I’m here today, and that’s all I worry about.”
Getting here wasn’t easy. The Yankees initially thought Adams had sprained his right ankle in 2010. Eventually, tests discovered a fracture with fragments of bone stuck in there. He missed nearly all of 2010 and 2011, and he played just 86 regular-season games last year. Then he Adams arrived in big league camp this spring with a back injury that kept him from getting a single at-bat before going to the minor league complex.
That injury, and the Yankees tight roster, led the Yankees to release him just before Opening Day. Other teams were interested, and Adams said he had other offers. The Yankees never promised him a call-up, but they assured him that they hadn’t given up on him, had just run into a tight roster situation. Adams took a risk by signing back.
“They said, ‘Look, we like you. We like what you bring to the table,’” Adams said. “I wasn’t healthy. They said, ‘Look, it’s a business move.’ And I understood that. It’s a business at the end of the day. … Absolutely (considered leaving). We did (have other opportunities), but in the end, I think this was the best opportunity for me to make it to the big leagues quickly, and that’s kind of what the goal was.”
Adams is here to play, not sit. He’s starting at third base today, has a lot of experience at second and got a couple of games at first base in Triple-A, meaning he could fill in for Lyle Overbay against lefties.
“He’s going to play a lot,” Girardi said. “There’s some different things that I can do with him if I want, but he’s going to play a lot.”
• After making a Triple-A rehab appearance last night, it’s entirely possible Joba Chamberlain could be activated tomorrow. “I want to talk to him and talk to Cash and see, does he need another one?” Girardi said. “Is he OK? I just want to see how he feels first.”
• If you missed it, Chris Nelson was designated for assignment to open a roster spot for Adams. Ben Francisco survives as a fifth outfielder.
• Travis Hafner is still day-to-day. Nothing has really changed since the end of last night’s game.
• Nothing really new on Mark Teixeira. He’s still taking batting practice outside. Girardi said he’ll next take live BP, then probably some simulated games, then some extended spring games, and finally a rehab assignment. Girardi expects a few more sim games for Teixiera just so the Yankees can make sure he hits from both sides of the plate.
• Girardi said he wasn’t entirely sure, but he thought Kevin Youkilis was supposed to do some soft toss in Tampa today.
• David Aardsma has been released again. This time, Aardsma requested the release.
• Randomly asked Adams what number he’ll be wearing today. Said he had no idea, and really didn’t care. Priorities, folks. Priorities.
• Austin Romine is out of the lineup again today, but Girardi seemed happy with him. “He’s caught very well,” Girardi said. “He had a big RBI for us the other day. We’re in a long stretch of games, so I usually tell him before when he’s going to play. Last night, I didn’t. I didn’t tell him the night before that he was going to catch CC. I wanted to think about how I was going to do it and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to run Stew 10 or 11 days in a row before I gave him a day off, so I decided to do it. I thought he did a tremendous job back there. I’ve told our catchers all along; shut down the other team. I’m not worried about your bat. Shut down the other team. I thought he did an excellent job.”
Associated Press photo