After trading for infielder Jean Segura from the Brewers over the weekend, Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart said that he was open to acquiring another closer or high-leverage reliever. There’s a high asking price in the trade market, so Stewart acknowledged to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic on Thursday that he’ll likely have to look to the dwindling group of free agent relievers.
The most accomplished reliever remaining on the market is Tyler Clippard, who posted a 2.92 ERA and 64/31 K/BB ratio over 71 innings last season between the Athletics and Mets. He served as the closer during his time in Oakland and saved 17 games. While there haven’t been any talks between the two sides, Stewart says they’ll likely be in touch.
“We have not talked to his people, (but) that is a good name,” Stewart said when asked about Clippard. “I know we talked about it internally, so I think there’s a pretty good possibility we will (reach out), at least just to see.”
Clippard was shaky down the stretch last season and continued to see his velocity decline. He has always induced his fair share of infield fly balls, but an overall increase in fly ball rate isn’t ideal when talking about a potential match with Arizona.
We can likely rule out a reunion with the Mets, as general manager Sandy Alderson said on Wednesday that the club is done giving out major league deals.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.