The Diamondbacks have designated left-hander Travis Bergen and right-hander Keury Mella for assignment, per a club announcement. Their roster spots will go to right-hander Tyler Clippard, whose previously reported one-year deal is now official, and to right-hander Luis Frias, who has been reinstated from the Covid-19 list.
Bergen, 27, was acquired from the Blue Jays last summer in the trade that sent Robbie Ray to Toronto. He tossed 6 2/3 innings with the Snakes and yielded just three runs, though he also issued eight walks in that brief time. Bergen, a former Rule 5 pick, has pitched 28 innings in the Majors with three different clubs, logging a combined 4.82 ERA with a 24 percent strikeout rate and an unsightly 14.9 percent walk rate.
It’s surely a disappointing outcome for the D-backs to ultimately receive little in the way of a return for one of the organization’s better arms in recent years. But Ray struggled immensely with Arizona in 2020, and his $9.43MM salary (prorated to about $3.4MM in 2020) only further weighed down his trade value. The Blue Jays did take on the majority of the $1.42MM that remained on Ray’s contract at the time of the trade.
Mella, also 27, signed a minor league deal with the D-backs last offseason and was called up for 10 innings of relief. He allowed just two runs in that time and struck out 10 of the 42 hitters he faced (23.8 percent) while walking just three (7.1 percent). Mella doesn’t have much of a track record at the MLB level otherwise, however. His only other big league work came with the Reds from 2017-19, during which time he allowed 15 runs in 17 innings of work.
Mella was at one point considered to be one of the better prospects in both the Giants and the Reds organizations. He and Adam Duvall were packaged together by the Giants in the trade that brought Mike Leake to San Francisco at the 2015 trade deadline.
The Diamondbacks will have a week to trade both pitchers or attempt to pass them through outright waivers. Mella is out of minor league options, while Bergen has multiple option years remaining. If either passes through waivers unclaimed, they can be retained by the D-backs and returned to Major League camp as non-roster invitees.