The Diamondbacks have agreed to a deal with free-agent reliever Tyler Clippard, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. The right-hander, a client of Excel Sports Management, will earn a guaranteed $2.25MM. There’s a $3.5MM mutual option or a $500K buyout for 2022.
This will be the second stint in the desert for Clippard, who was a member of the Diamondbacks in 2016. The 36-year-old has also appeared in the majors with nine other organizations during what has been a successful career. Long a durable late-game option, Clippard has overcome a paltry 28.1 percent groundball rate to log a 3.13 ERA/3.47 SIERA with an above-average strikeout rate (27.1) across 842 innings since his 2007 debut.
Although he only averaged 89.2 mph on his fastball in Minnesota last year, Clippard continued to record impressive production. He put up a 2.77 ERA/3.52 SIERA in 26 frames, owing largely to terrific strikeout and walk numbers. He fanned hitters at a 26.5 percent rate and walked hitters just 4.1 percent of the time – a career-best figure. Clippard also fared better than most in a large number of Statcast categories.
The Diamondbacks have been mostly quiet since their disappointing 2020 season ended, but they have made a few notable additions to their roster this month. Before agreeing to terms with Clippard, they signed fellow veterans Joakim Soria and Asdrubal Cabrera. Clippard and Soria figure to be important parts of a bullpen that finished a subpar 18th in ERA (4.60) a year ago.