5:50pm: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that Clippard will be paid $8.3MM in 2015, which is slightly below the midpoint of the figures that were exchanged.
5:18pm: The Athletics announced that they have avoided arbitration with recently acquired right-hander Tyler Clippard by agreeing to a one-year contract (Twitter link). Clippard, a client of Excel Sports Management, filed for an $8.85MM salary, while the team countered at $7.775MM, a shown in MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker. Though his final sum has yet to be reported, it will come in south of the $9.3MM figure projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz.
Acquired last month in exchange for Yunel Escobar, Clippard was arbitration eligible for the final time this winter. Though his final price tag will be lofty for a relief arm, it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t earned this level of compensation; over the past two seasons, Clippard has worked to a 2.29 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 141 1/3 innings for the Nationals. He also served as the team’s primary closer in the 2012 season, registering 32 saves, though they came with an uncharacteristically high 3.72 ERA.
Clippard, who will turn 30 on Valentine’s Day, was expected to serve in a setup role with Oakland at the time of his acquisition, but reports since the trade have indicated that closer Sean Doolittle is dealing with shoulder problems. Doolittle recently received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection in his left shoulder and could be sidelined to begin the season, which means that Clippard could again be called upon for ninth-inning duties.
With Clippard’s case resolved, the A’s are now finished with the arbitration process. Oakland had 11 arb-eligible players this winter, but only one hearing was required; the team won its hearing against Jarrod Parker, who had filed for a $1.7MM salary, while the team filed at $850K.