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Diamondbacks agree to terms with reliever Tyler Clippard

Relief pitcher Tyler Clippard #36 of the Minnesota Twins throws in the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on August 09, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks officially announced the signing of veteran right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard on Friday.

Clippard’s contract is a one-year deal with a mutual option in 2022.

Clippard, 36, has been pitching in the majors since 2007 and is a two-time All-Star. He was last a member of the Minnesota Twins in the 2020 season, holding a 2.77 ERA over 26.0 innings in 26 appearances.

The right-hander has 68 career saves, primarily being used as a supporting piece in the bullpen over his 14-year career. His run in MLB included a stint with the D-backs in 2016. Clippard pitched in 40 games before being dealt at the trade deadline to the New York Yankees.

The D-backs added another veteran reliever earlier this offseason in Joakim Soria, who is competing with Stefan Crichton for the closer job. Beyond those two, there’s a lack of stability. Kevin Ginkel (19 GP, 16.0 IP, 6.75 ERA) and Yoan Lopez (20 GP, 19.2 IP, 5.95 ERA) are the two returnees outside of Crichton with the most appearances last year and both had uninspiring 2020 campaigns.

In early February, Arizona general manager Mike Hazen didn’t sound like he had a concrete picture of the bullpen.

“I don’t think all that many [bullpen spots have been claimed] honestly,” Hazen said. “That’s the whole nature of the competition. I think [Stefan] Crichton has put himself in a position where he’s going to pitch important innings for us in the bullpen. … Those guys have to seize those jobs.”

The D-backs begin spring training play on Feb. 28 against the Colorado Rockies. Tune to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station at 1:10 p.m. for all the action.

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