The D-backs have claimed left-hander Caleb Baragar off waivers from the Giants, per a club announcement. Arizona also confirmed its previously reported signing of Oliver Perez to a minor league contract.
Baragar remains in the NL West, as he’d spent his entire career to date with San Francisco. That includes stints in the big leagues in each of the past two seasons, over which time he’s combined for 45 1/3 innings in 49 games. The former ninth-round pick has an impressive 2.78 ERA in that time, but his underlying numbers haven’t supported that kind of run prevention. Baragar’s 18.8% strikeout rate is about five points below that of the league average reliever. He excelled at avoiding walks during his rookie campaign (5.7%), but last year’s 12.2% walk rate was much more problematic.
Walks and home runs proved a major problem for Baragar in Triple-A as well. He handed out free passes at an untenable 17.6% clip with the Giants’ top affiliate in Sacramento, allowing seven homers in 22 1/3 innings. That led to an 8.46 ERA at the minors’ top level, and San Francisco designated him for assignment last week.
The D-Backs will take a shot on the 27-year-old (28 next month) returning to form. Until last season, Baragar generally had a decent track record in the minors. He still has a pair of option years remaining, so Arizona can keep him with their top affiliate in Reno as needed. He joins Joe Mantiply, Kyle Nelson and swingman Caleb Smith as lefty relief options on the Arizona 40-man roster.