It’s no secret that the Mets have maintained a strong desire to re-sign Clippard. Right from the very start of the offseason, assistant GM John Ricco admitted as much and those sentiments have been espoused with regularity in the two months since.
The main stumbling block to a deal has been that Clippard is seeking a two-year deal, and the Mets do not want to go beyond a one year.
At this point I wouldn’t be shocked in a Mets and Clippard reunion even though I think the current Mets bullpen appears set and ready to dominate.
Last August, Clippard was thrilled to join the Mets and said that winning a championship is something he’d love to do in his career. Of course, the Mets ended up coming oh so close. Was that experience enough to make Clippard blink and take a one-year just to be a part of what could be something special in Flushing this season? I think it’s a strong possibility.
I understand Sandy Alderson’s reservations on giving Clippard two years. The veteran setup man has racked up nearly 500 innings since 2010 and showed some signs of fatigue in late September through the postseason including some loss in fastball velocity.
I’m no pitching analyst, but what has made Clippard so dominating as a shutdown reliever is a killer changeup that heavily relies on that speed differential to be an enormously effective out pitch.
Clippard, 31, went 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.052 WHIP in 32 relief appearances for the Mets last season with a 7.2 K/9.
The strikeout rate is worth noting because it was far less than his 9.8 career mark. He was nearly light’s out his first month with the Mets, but in September/October Clippard posted a 6.14 ERA and had an opposing OPS of .858.
The Mets acquired Clippard from the Oakland Athletics at the trade deadline for right-handed pitching prospect Casey Meisner. The Twins, Dodgers and Blue Jays have all expressed interest in Clippard, who earned $8.3 million last season.
I’d love Clippard on a one-year deal, but like Sandy, I’d be wary of committing to more than that. I’d love to hear your opinions.