5:12pm: A deal sending Clippard to the Mets is getting “closer,” Heyman tweets.
2:05pm: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that the Nationals are still considering a reunion with Clippard.
12:25pm: Ben Zobrist is not involved in these talks, tweets Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, who does hear that the sides are making progress on a deal. Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweets that the Mets have expressed a willingness to send Rafael Montero to Oakland in Zobrist talks, so the two sides have already exchanged names in previous talks. That’s not to say Montero is in play here, just that they’ve talked names in the past, which could be beneficial to these talks.
12:13pm: The Mets are making progress on a trade to acquire Tyler Clippard from the Athletics, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Other teams are still in play, according to the FOX Sports duo, and a deal could come soon. Last night, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a Clippard trade could come as soon as today.
The A’s picked up Clippard in an offseason trade with the Nationals, sending Yunel Escobar to Washington in a one-for-one swap. Clippard hasn’t been as effective with Oakland as he has in previous seasons, though. While his 2.79 ERA is solid on the surface, but his strikeout rate (8.8 K/9), walk rate (4.9 BB/9) and ground-ball rate (20.8 percent) have all gone in the wrong direction this season. He’s benefited from an elevated strand rate and a minuscule .214 BABIP, leading FIP (3.89) to project something far less optimistic in regards to his performance. He’s also posted a career-low homer-to-flyball ratio, causing xFIP to project a more pessimistic 5.31.
Regardless, Clippard does have strong bottom-line results and an excellent track record. He’s posted a 2.63 ERA with 10.4 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9 in 393 1/3 innings from 2010-14 working as both a setup man and a closer with the Nationals. He’s owed roughly $3.2MM over the remainder of the season and would give the Mets another arm to slot into the bullpen in the event that they reach the postseason, where Jenrry Mejia is ineligible to pitch due to an 80-game PED suspension.