Tyler Clippard may have finally found his home for the 2016 season. The right-handed set-up man is currently working out a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Arizona is in need of a pitcher that can also be a reliable closer if needed down the stretch. Though the details of any deals have not been released, Piercoro reports that multi-year, and one-year deals, have been discussed between the two parties.
Clippard, who will be turning 31 next week, has an impressive career ERA of 2.88, as well as a K/9 of 9.8 through his nine-year career. Last year, Clippard spent some time with the Oakland Athletics before being acquired by the New York Mets later in the season. Before going to the Mets, Clippard posted a 2.79 ERA with 17 saves for the A’s. When New York brought Clippard in, they used him in the set-up role behind Jeurys Familia.
New York has not expressed any interest in bringing Clippard back with the likes of Addison Reed, Jim Henderson, and Antonio Bastardo, who will all be clearing the way for Familia in 2016. Clippard’s velocity has been fading as his age keeps rising, but he lives and dies off his change-up. He is a fly-ball pitcher which can lead to problems in the hitter friendly Chase Field. Clippard has been a set-up man most of his career and, it is safe to say that he is more comfortable in that role. However, if current Arizona closer Brad Ziegler struggles, Clippard, who does have 52 career saves, can be a reliable option for the D-Backs to close out games.
The D-Backs have been in full force this off-season, starting with the surprise signing of starting pitcher Zack Greinke. They have also acquired starter Shelby Miller from the Atlanta Braves, and shortstop Jean Segura from the Milwaukee Brewers. The Diamondbacks are looking like a real threat to capture the National League West title this upcoming season and, with the signing of Clippard, it can only help.