D-backs add vet reliever Clippard (source)

February 23rd, 2021

The D-backs have reached an agreement with free-agent right-hander on a Major League deal, a source told MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. The club has not confirmed the deal, which would net Clippard $2.25 million in 2021 and includes a $500,000 buyout for ’22, per a source.

Clippard, 36, is entering his 15th Major League season after prior stints with the Yankees, Nationals, A’s, Mets, White Sox, Astros, Blue Jays, Indians and Twins. He also began the 2016 season with Arizona before the D-backs traded him to the Yankees at that year’s July Trade Deadline. The righty owns a career 3.13 ERA across 777 big league appearances (all but 14 of them out of the bullpen), and he enjoyed a solid season for the Twins in 2020 with a 2.77 ERA and 26 to 4 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 26 innings.

Advanced metrics were favorable for Clippard last year, as he ranked among MLB’s top 20% of qualified pitchers in average exit velocity against, hard-hit rate, walk rate and Statcast’s expected wOBA and expected ERA statistics. His split-changeup has served as his primary pitch across the past two seasons, with Clippard throwing that change-of-pace between 30 and 35% of the time. Clippard figures to join a reconstituted mix in Arizona’s bullpen that includes fellow veterans Chris Devenski and Joakim Soria.