UPDATE (12:10 PST): According to Jerry Crasnick, the Diamondbacks are closing in on a deal with Tyler Clippard.
ORIGINAL (10:00 PST): Without a doubt, the 2015-2016 offseason has been one of the strangest in recent memory. It got off to a slow start, and nearly every major deal that was signed came out of the blue. There was no week long rumor that David Price was signing with the Red Sox, or that Johnny Cueto was heading to the Giants; they both just happened.
Another aspect of this offseason was just the sheer number of talent that was available, which has undoubtedly hurt a number of players. With so many options on the open-market, teams didn't need to settle for a pitcher they weren't thrilled about, or an outfielder they weren't high on. As a result, as of this writing, an inordinate number of players are still available.
Tyler Clippard is one of those players who's still looking for a home, and according to Nick Piecoro, Arizona is in contact with the free-agent reliever.
"A source described the Diamondbacks as 'hopeful' they could get a deal done with Clippard, saying the sides were discussing both one-year and multi-year contract scenarios.
As it stands, the Diamondbacks appear to have just two spots available in their bullpen, with Brad Ziegler, Daniel Hudson, Andrew Chafin, Randall Delgado and Josh Collmenter all but assured of jobs."
Clippard had mixed results in 2015, but over the past six seasons, he's been more than a serviceable reliever. Last year, in 71 innings, he posted a K/9 of 8.11 (his lowest since 2008), a BB/9 of 3.93 (his highest since 2010), a HR/9 of 1.01, along with an ERA of 2.92 and an FIP of 4.28.
His velocity is in decline, as his fastball has gone from an average of 92.7 MPH in 2012 to 91.5 MPH in 2015. Clippard's career is nowhere near its end, but his decreased strikeout rate, increased walk rate, and declining velocity is certainly something to keep an eye on.
The Diamondbacks have made it clear they want to contend now, and adding Clippard to their bullpen would be another move to help push them towards making the playoffs. Nothing appears imminent at the moment, but like many deals this offseason, something could come together quickly.