Left-hander Tony Sipp is seeking a three-year contract in the Zach Duke/Boone Logan mold, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). That means he’ll be eyeing an average annual value between $5MM and $5.5MM as he looks to find a new home this winter.
Sipp, 32, enjoyed his finest season as a Major Leaguer in 2015, working to a 1.99 ERA with 10.3 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and a 38.8 percent ground-ball rate in 54 1/3 innings. Sipp was dominant against left-handed batters, holding them to a .227/.290/.309 batting line, but he also exhibited dominance over right-handed batters as well. Even hitters who held the platoon advantage over Sipp mustered a paltry .190/.243/.370 slash.
Sipp has somewhat quietly enjoyed a brilliant two-year stretch working out of the Houston bullpen, and he’s averaged better than 10 strikeouts per nine innings in three consecutive seasons now. While he doesn’t immediately jump out as a household name for fans, he’s among the best left-handed options (perhaps the best) on the market this year. His primary competition for that three-year deal is probably Antonio Bastardo, though it’s of course possible that both players could receive such a pact.
To this point, Sipp has been connected to a fair number of teams, including the Orioles, Astros and Royals. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN recently tweeted that Sipp is also on the Twins’ radar. Minnesota’s need for a left-handed reliever is glaring, as the lone proven option in manager Paul Molitor’s bullpen is closer Glen Perkins, who is coming off a pair of injury-shortened seasons.