The Royals have signed right-hander Taylor Clarke to a major league contract, reports Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (Twitter link). It’s a $975K deal, per Heyman. Clarke was non-tendered last night by the D-Backs.
The 28-year-old Clarke spent the bulk of last season pitching out of the Arizona bullpen to mostly pedestrian results. Through 43 innings the right-hander sported a 4.98 ERA with below average strikeout and groundball rates. Some of Clarke’s underlying stats may portend a turnaround at the Major League level, however. Among them, a .350 BABIP was well above the league average, indicating some poor batted ball luck. Clarke’s FIP too stood at just 3.54, indicating his bottom-line results may slide closer to respectability with more reps.
For just a 6-digit investment the Royals have little to lose by taking a chance on Clarke. In fact, if the right-hander proves to be anything close to a league average arm this deal stands a strong chance of looking quite shrewd. After all, Clarke is controllable through the 2025 season via arbitration and can be a long-term option for a Royals club that’s angling to hop back into contention.