Diamondbacks sign Clayton Richard to a minor league deal

The Arizona Diamondbacks have reached an agreement with left-handed pitcher Clayton Richard on a minor-league deal. He has been sidelined the whole season, so far, while recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome. Richard will make his first start with the organization this weekend, according to reports. His deal with Arizona will be finalized once he passes his physical on Friday, according to Nathan Baird of the Lafayette Journal & Courier.

Clayton Richard, a former eighth round pick, was with the Chicago White Sox from 2008 until the middle of the 2009 campaign, when he was shipped to the San Diego Padres in a deal centered around Jake Peavy. He would pitch splendidly in San Diego. In the next four years, Richard topped 200 innings pitched twice while winning 14 games in 2010 and 2012, where he led the National League in with 33 starts and 228 hits allowed, but still posted a career-best 1.235 WHIP and a career-low 1.7 BB/9.

Richard, 30, had a struggle-filled season last year in San Diego. Before going down with a injury in his AC joint in his shoulder, he posted a 7.01 ERA and a 1.633 WHIP over 52.2 innings pitched. He was outrighted off the 40-man roster following the season and elected free-agency instead of accepting an assignment to the minor leagues. After he was released, he underwent another procedure this February and had been rehabbing ever since.

This signing proves to be low-risk for the Diamondbacks. It could provide future depth to the organization for not only the rest of this season, but for next year, as well. If he proves that he is healthy and has the potential to regain his form from 2010-12, then he could play a potential role in the team’s starting rotation next spring.

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