The last player to watch for in arbitration is Tyler Clippard. Clippard is coming off of a year in which he posted an ERA below 2.5 in over 70 appearances. He was great once again and he wants to money that reflects that success.
The Nationals and Clippard exchanged dollar amounts last night and they seem to be a bit away apart just like Doug Fister and the Nats. Clippard is asking for $6.35 while the Nationals are offering him $4.45. The median would be $5.4 but will Clippard get that much?
Clippard who was born in Lexington, Kentucky, about an hour and a half from me, was drafted by the New York Yankees back in 2003. He made it to the big leagues with the bronx bombers in 2007, but only spent one season in New York. In 2008 he came to the nation’s capital and has been here ever since.
He made a huge contract jump from 2012 to 2013 going up $2.35 million. Now he wants to go from $4 million to $6.35 million, another $2.35 million. Will it be worth it for the Nationals? I believe so. He gets the game to the ninth inning and Rafael Soriano. He deserves to be paid like it.
The only thing that scares you is the fly ball rate. It is very high for a late inning guy. He does strikeout a lot of hitters, but there is that chance that one swing and the game could be tied. 2013 was his second best Major League season as he left 87% of runners on base. That is something that you want to stay consistent, because then you know the pitcher is consistent.
He didn’t earn as much WAR, which is probably why the Nationals offered so low, but that could be because he didn’t strikeout as many hitters and gave up more home runs per nine. His FIP, or what he can control (walks, strikeouts and home runs), was close to four because of the amount of homers he allowed.
If he can cut down on the home runs allowed he is a very dominant late inning arm. He throws the ball hard and the at bat can seem over before it even starts with Clippard on the mound.
We will see if the Nationals and Clippard can compromise, because you want him in the back end with Drew Storen to solidify the bullpen. Come on Rizzo make the right decision and pay Clippard what he deserves.