GM Dave Stewart had made it known that he would like to add a reliever before the season.
Now, he has one.
The Diamondbacks have signed Tyler Clippard to a two-year deal worth $12.25 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
According to Rosenthal, Clippard will make $4.1 million this season and $4.15 million next year, with $4 million coming on a signing bonus.
Clippard, who will turn 31 on Sunday, has an ERA of 2.68 in 481 appearances since becoming a full-time relief pitcher in 2009. He has posted an ERA under 3.10 in six of the last seven seasons, including a 2.92 mark with the Athletics and Mets in 2015. He has been one of baseball’s best setup men over the last decade, spending six seasons with the Nationals before splitting last year with the A’s and the Mets.
The Clippard signing immediately improves upon the Diamondbacks’ mediocre bullpen. The team had the National League’s median bullpen ERA last season at 3.56, and did little to improve on the bullpen prior to the Clippard signing. Wesley Wright, who signed a minor league deal in January, was the only relief pitcher the Diamondbacks signed this offseason. He appeared in just 11 major league games in 2015.
Having Clippard will bring a proven commodity to the Diamondbacks’ bullpen. He has been incredibly consistent over the last seven seasons, so this signing represents a relatively safe one– even if Clippard struggled down the stretch last year. Clippard will likely serve as the setup man to incumbent closer Brad Ziegler, who had a career year in 2015 with 30 saves and a 1.85 ERA. An eighth and ninth inning combination of Clippard and Ziegler will do volumes for the Diamondbacks in close games.