It’s the 2017-2018 offseason, and Brian Cashman has Neal Huntington on the phone. The conversation was regarding Gerrit Cole, who the New York Yankees hoped to acquire to make a World Series run. The Pirates wanted Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier, and Chance Adams. The Yankees simply didn’t want to have to give up three talented prospects and would’ve made the deal most likely if Adams was not part of the demands. The Yankees would come to regret that decision, even though they have Cole now, they could’ve had him a while ago. Why was Adams so highly valued?
A Hot Start
Chance Adams had posted a sub 3.00 ERA in every season of his minor league career up to 2017. In 2017 he posted a 15-5 record with a 2.45 ERA in 150.1 innings with a 1.078 WHIP in his career. He was dominant, and being 22 years old meant that the Yankees assumed he was going to be in the rotation in either 2018 or 2019. He was a very valuable piece for the Yankees, a diamond in their embarrassment of riches in the farm system. The diamond turned out to be a fake, however.
Starter? Not a Chance
The New York Yankees had high hopes for Adams, however in 2018 he struggled in Triple-A, and when he was promoted to the MLB, he posted an ugly 7.04 ERA in 7.2 innings. He finished his Triple-A season with a career-worst (in the minors) 4.78 ERA win 113 innings. In 2019 things only got worse, as he posted a 4.63 ERA in Triple-A and then in 25.1 MLB innings posted a putrid 8.53 ERA. Chance Adams seemed to be done for, and the Yankees agreed.
New Year, New Team
On December 23rd, Chance Adams was traded away to Kansas City for 21-year-old Christian Perez, an infielder with a weak bat, posting a .631 OPS in his first 4 minor seasons and a career .319 SLG percentage. The Yankees made this move after DFAing him, so they were set on getting rid of Adams. This was a move to make space for none other than Gerrit Cole. The Yankees would love to be able to turn back the clock and pull the trigger on the Cole deal, but maybe the change of scenery will do well for Adams.
Kauffman Kills Hitting
Kauffman Stadium is well regarded for deep fences that make it a pitcher-friendly park. This could benefit the young righty as to be able to find some form of success that could give him confidence. This could lead to Adams finding footing, consistency, and most importantly, a job in the MLB. Adams will probably never be the sub 3.00 ERA guy again, but he could be a mid 3.00 ERA guy. At age 24 the Royals have a controllable young starter who can perhaps turn a corner but had no future in New York.
How will Chance Adams’ career end up? Will he succeed for the Royals or will he fade away into irrelevancy?