Rapid Reaction: Yankees acquire Tyler Clippard from DBacks to fortify bullpen
The Yankees front office had been mulling offers for Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller during the days leading up to both of them being dealt. As expected, Chapman was the first one to be traded, but the Yankees then surprised many by dealing Miller to Cleveland this morning for an incredible prospect haul, giving the Yankees one of the top farm systems in all of baseball. Still, the Yankees are interested in being competitive, in addition to embracing a sell-off, so they went out and acquired Tyler Clippard from the Diamondbacks for Vicente Campos to take over the eighth inning role.
|Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas | USA TODAY Sports|
Clippard began his career with the Yankees as he was drafted by the team in the ninth round of the 2003 MLB draft. Clippard enjoyed an abundance of success in the Yankees minor league system as a starting pitcher which is what he came up as with the Yankees. He would make his major league debut on May 20, 2007, getting a start against the New York Mets. He got the victory across six innings of one run ball. However, the next month was a struggle for him as he was eventually demoted to Triple-A, and then later demoted to Double-A. He then returned to the Bronx in September. In the offseason, the Yankees traded Clippard to the Nationals for Jonathan Albaladejo.
Clippard became a bona fide reliever in 2008 with the Nationals and has since established himself as a reliable reliever, seeing time as a closer, as well as a setup man, and other high-leverage roles. Clippard has a 44-32 record over his career with a 2.97 ERA with 54 saves. He also has 658 strikeouts in 599.2 innings, good for 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Clippard, 31, is having a down year in 2016 going 2-3 with a 4.30 ERA is 40 appearances this year, but he is striking out 11 batters per nine innings pitched and opposing hitters are hitting just .245 off him. The Yankees are expected to move Dellin Betances to the closer role, with Clippard filling the eighth inning. They also reunited with Adam Warren, who will pitch the seventh inning.
In this one-for-one deal, the Yankees traded right-handed pitcher Vicente Campos. The Yankees acquired Campos from the Mariners in January of 2012 in the Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi for Michael Pineda and Campos. Campos has had a major problem staying healthy as a prospect and his value has been adversely affected as a result. However, coming into this year completely healthy at 24-years-old, the Yankees hoped to fast track him to the big leagues. Backed by his resurgent year in 2016, Campos has jumped three levels as he started the year with the Tampa Yankees (Class-A Adv.) and he is now with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
Campos is a starting pitcher for now with a career record of 33-23 with a 3.67 ERA in 104 appearances including 87 starts. Prior to this year, Campos’ career high in innings pitched in one season was 87.0, but he has surpassed that this year as he has already tossed 121.0 innings. Campos has had a very successful 2016 campaign going 9-3 with a 3.20 ERA. If Campos can remain healthy, he may make it to the major leagues soon, but he does not project to be an electric starter and may eventually become a reliever.
Overall, this is a necessary move for Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees. With Betances moving into the closer role, the Yankees were left with a void in the eighth inning which will now be filled by Clippard. Warren is expected to take over the seventh inning spot as the Yankees have pieces together a respectable trio at the back-end. Clippard signed a two-year deal worth $12.25 million so he is under team control through next season. If the Yankees bring back Chapman this offseason which is not unlikely, the back-end of the bullpen will include a fearsome foursome in Warren, Clippard, Betances, and Chapman in 2017, to go along with all the prospects they are accumulating for the future. The Yankees could once again have one of the top bullpens in the league next year.
Article by: Chad Raines