David Adams, who played for Joe Girardi on the Yankees, is a candidate to direct the Phillies farm system
Roster shakeups can’t happen until the offseason, but Philadelphia Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has been making sweeping changes to the front office and player development side of the franchise all season.
The latest rumor has Dombrowski bringing another former Yankee to Philadelphia to join manager Joe Girardi.
Adams has an interesting connection to the Phillies already. In 2010, the Yankees were close to a trade deadline deal for pitcher Cliff Lee, who had pitched a complete game against them in the 2009 World Series. Lee had been acquired by the Phillies at the trade deadline and pitched a complete game in his debut with the club. He then faced off against his former Cleveland teammate CC Sabathia in Game 1 of the World Series and threw the complete game.
After the Phillies lost the series to Girardi’s Yankees in six games, they traded Lee to the Mariners in exchange for three prospects. Then-Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. made the trade in order to acquire the late Roy Halladay. That day in December was the first time in MLB history that two Cy Young pitchers had been traded on the same day.
The Yankees once tried to trade David Adams for Cliff Lee
What does all of that have to do with Adams? He’s the reason the Yankees never got Lee. The Mariners traded Lee to the Rangers at the 2010 deadline, and he returned to the Phillies on a five-year deal that winter. The quartet of Lee, Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels became known as the Phantastic Phour. The 2011 Phillies won the division for the fifth year in a row.
Meanwhile, Adams was a third-round pick by the Yankees in the 2008 draft. In 2010, he was one of three prospects the Yankees had bundled together to pry Lee from the Mariners. When his sprained ankle turned out to be broken, the Mariners pivoted to dealing with the Rangers. Ironically, one of the other prospects in the trade was Zach McAllister, who signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies in August, but was released on September 22.
After a short-lived big-league career, Adams bounced around the minors for a few seasons before beginning to coach and manage in the Yankees system, which isn’t currently highly-ranked but has produced many stars in recent years, including Aaron Judge.
At the end of August, MLB.com ranked the Yankees’ farm system 19th and the Phillies’ 27th. Over the last decade, the Yankees have won the division three times and made four Wild Card berths. Though they have no new rings or trophies to show for their October endeavors, they are still miles ahead of the Phillies, who have been mired in a rebuild for most of the last decade, and have not reached the postseason since the year Lee returned.
It’s impossible to know for certain what the Yankees and Phillies would have looked like over the last decade if the Lee trade had been completed in 2010. But it’s fair to assume the Yankees would have been more successful with the former Cy Young in their rotation.
Dombrowski was hired to shake things up and finally bring success back to the Phillies. Hiring a new farm director will be one of many moves fans can expect to see in the coming months.