Cardinals settle salary for Adams, but his role remains a myster - KMOV.com

Cardinals settle salary for Adams, but his role remains a mystery

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St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Adams rounds second after hitting a solo home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong during the third inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Adams rounds second after hitting a solo home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong during the third inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

While questions remain for Matt Adams and his role with the Cardinals in 2017, he at least has an answer regarding his compensation for the season.

Jon Heyman reported Thursday that Adams and the Cardinals have avoided arbitration, settling on $2.8 million for the first baseman’s 2017 salary. This would reflect a standard increase from the $1.65 million he earned last season in his first year of arbitration eligibility, and the salary matches MLB Trade Rumors' projected arbitration salary for the 28-year-old slugger.

Adams hit 16 home runs in 297 at-bats in 2016, slugging .471 and recording an OPS+ of 105, a rating slightly better than a league-average 100. Despite reports that Adams has trimmed down to a more athletic build during the offseason, St. Louis has nowhere to put him in the daily lineup.

With Matt Carpenter slated to man first base on a regular basis, Adams is in a tough spot. While his reported desire for improved strength and conditioning bodes well for his potential output in the upcoming season, Adams may lack the playing time to fulfill his newfound potential.

Because Adams– like Carpenter– is left-handed and historically confined to first base defensively, his presence on the Cardinals roster is somewhat redundant. Adams’ name has been floated in various trade rumors throughout the hot stove season, but he remains a Cardinal. An inflated trade market this winter has incentivized teams in need of 1B/DH help to seek alternatives in a free agent market that has seen prices drop on talented players befitting such roles.

Teams that might consider Adams a power-hitting upgrade may prefer to wait out free agent options like Mark Trumbo or Brandon Moss over parting with valuable pieces for Adams, who has struggled in recent years to remain healthy for the whole summer.

When healthy, though, Adams has shown to be a valuable hitter in an everyday lineup, posting a career OPS+ of 109. Unless some roster juggling occurs before spring, Adams may be relegated to power off the bench–a possible waste of his abilities. 

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