Number 2: Austin Adams
If Tom Murphy was one of Dipoto’s greatest trades, then so too is his acquisition of Austin Adams. Acquired from the Nationals for Nick Wells, Adams established himself as one of the best swing-and-miss relievers in the American League.
The Mariners simply allowed Adams to unleash his best weapon, a wipeout slider, more often than Washington, and the result came immediately. Adams averaged more than 1.5 strikeouts per inning with Seattle while cutting his walk rate in the process.
Adams’ slider makes him at least a back-end reliever and if he can harness the fastball and command it better with its current velocity (95 MPH average) Adams could be a dominant closer. While he works his way back from a torn ACL he suffered in September, Dipoto said that he believes Adams could be back by the time MLB resumes play this season.
Adams has 5-years of service time remaining, meaning he won’t make anything more than league minimum for at least 2 more seasons and won’t start to see his salary kick up until after the 2022 season.
Relievers are always hot commodities in the middle of the season, especially ones who can miss bats at elite levels. Adams has a chance to be this year’s Nick Anderson, for whom the Rays traded top prospect, Jesus Sanchez.
If the Mariners can cash in on Adams for a similar price, they’d be fools not to. Adams doesn’t need to be traded this summer or this winter thanks to his club control years. Seattle can sit and wait for the right offer and if they don’t get it, they can simply try again next summer.