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Front Page: Twins Sign Tyler Clippard


Seth Stohs
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The Twins continued to address their bullpen on Friday with the announcement that they have signed veteran right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard to a one-year deal. In addition, the Sergio Romo signing was confirmed.While we all wait for the big, "impact" move, the Twins announced a couple of moves that will hopefully solidify their 2020 bullpen.

 

34-year-old Tyler Clippard was signed to a one-year deal. He pitched in 53 games for Cleveland in 2019 and went 1-0 with a 2.90 ERA in 62 innings.

 

 

He has been in pro ball for 17 years, starting in 2003 when he was a ninth-round pick of the Yankees. Since then, he has played in 13 big-league seasons and played in two All-Star Games. He has spent time with the Yankees, Nationals, A's, Mets, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Astros, Blue Jays and Indians.

 

The team also confirmed the signing of Sergio Romo to a one-year contract with a 2021 option.

 

The Twins 40-man roster is now at 38.

 

And no, a $2.75 million contract for a reliever has no effect on their pursuit of the likes of Josh Donaldson or Hyun-Jin Ryu.

 

A potential Twins bullpen could now include:

 

Taylor Rogers

Tyler Duffey

Trevor May

Sergio Romo

Tyler Clippard

Zack Littell

Cody Stashak

Fernando Romero

Matt Wisler

Jorge Alcala

(and guys like Dobnak, Smeltzer, Thorpe, Graterol)

 

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Clippard had a .855 WHIP, 4.27 K/BB ratio in Cleveland... sign me up! I thought he was a lefty at first, but no, he's another righty. 

 

Having a bullpen of Rogers, Romo, Duffey, Clippard, May, Littell, Stashak and others is a strong group to start the year, especially compared to last year. Now let's see if we can land Ryu or Donaldson... or maybe both?

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Dang good move here. We will quietly have one of the best pens of '20

 

The pen does look like it will be one of the better ones. I like the odds one of the AAA/AA pitchers really steps up in the bullpen this year also. Of course, they need to get to the 6th inning first.....

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Prediction: Alcala will not last in the big leagues. Sorry. I know most people are very high on him. I just don’t see it. And that 5.29 ERA in AA makes me scratch my head how he even got to the bigs.

That 5.87 ERA was accumulated mostly as a starter, which I don't think he is going forward. I'm willing to bet if he pitches 1 to 2 inning outings, he'll drastically improve. 

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Clippard had a .855 WHIP, 4.27 K/BB ratio in Cleveland... sign me up! I thought he was a lefty at first, but no, he's another righty. 

 

Having a bullpen of Rogers, Romo, Duffey, Clippard, May, Littell, Stashak and others is a strong group to start the year, especially compared to last year. Now let's see if we can land Ryu or Donaldson... or maybe both?

 

And the numbers are even better when you take out a couple of the games when he was used as an opener against a certain Midwestern team that he, um, won't have to face this year. 

 

I've liked him for a few years. He's often been in the closer/I'm-surprised-they're-not-using-him-as-a-closer spot. Frankly, if they want to focus Rogers' use on high-leverage situations, it would be easy to slot Clippard into the more traditional closer role to allow that to happen. Greater flexibility in using Rogers would also lessen the need for another lefty. 

 

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Prediction: Alcala will not last in the big leagues. Sorry. I know most people are very high on him. I just don’t see it. And that 5.29 ERA in AA makes me scratch my head how he even got to the bigs.

 

He started the year off almost unhittable with a low ERA and Good K rate.  As the year went on he seemed to wear down.  Once back in the pen at the end of the year he did well again.  He is not a sure thing by any means but I think you might be selling him short.  He also has a chance to be an elite reliever with a few tweeks,  He has a ways to go yet but I am very interested to see what he can do for a full season as a reliever. 

 

FYI most scouts always had him pegged as reliever from the beginning so thinking of him as a long term starter seemed a bit pie in the sky to me.  If he doesn't pan out that makes the Pressly trade more brutal.  Have to wait and see yet though.

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And the numbers are even better when you take out a couple of the games when he was used as an opener against a certain Midwestern team that he, um, won't have to face this year. 

 

I've liked him for a few years. He's often been in the closer/I'm-surprised-they're-not-using-him-as-a-closer mindset. Frankly, if they want to focus Rogers' use on high-leverage situations, it would be using to slot Clippard into the more traditional closer role to allow that to happen. Greater flexibility in using Rogers would also lessen the need for another lefty. 

I was just looking at that exact phenomenon. The Twins really did enjoy facing him this season.

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Would have liked to see either Steve Cishek, Will Harris, Daniel Hudson, or Brandon Kintzler. Simply it came down to money of course.

 

Next let's bring back Pat Neshek on a minor league deal.

 

2019 Cishek:   2.95 ERA, 4.54 FIP, 8 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, WHIP 1.203   Age 33

2019 Kintzler:  2.68 ERA, 3.56 FIP, 7.6 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, WHIP 1.018  Age 35

2019 Harris:    1.50 ERA, 3.14 FIP, 9.3 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, WHIP .933   Age 35

2019 Hudson:  2.47 ERA, 3.97 FIP, 8.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, WHIP 1.137  Age 32

 

2019 Clippard:  2.90 ERA, 3.89 FIP, 9.3 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, WHIP .855  Age 34

 

What about comparing those numbers just screams it was a money move?  Harris isn't a free agent.  Hudson reportedly wants a multi-year deal.  

 

Directly from MLBtraderumors:   

 

Beyond those surface-level numbers, Clippard, 35 in February, excelled in a number of areas. He ranked in the game’s 98th percentile in terms of average exit velocity allowed, at a paltry 85 mph, and his opponents’ hard-hit rate (28.8 percent) landed in the 95th percentile among MLB hurlers. The .260 weighted on-base average (wOBA) to which he held opponents was also among the game’s best and was a near match for the .264 expected wOBA projected by Statcast.

 

If he would have signed for $7.5M would you have thought this was a better signing?  It's not always about the money.  Looks on the surface like a steal for the Twins and a great guy to have added to the pen.

 

 

 

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I actually like this move. I have been wishing they'd have signed him a couple other times over his career. 

 

Another Vet in the bullpen to help out our young guys. I like it. This guy has done it well for quite a few years. And, like said, if he loses it, he is easy to DFA and change directions. 

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