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Clippard signs 1-year deal

Jan 17, 2012, 8:41 PM EDT

The Nationals came to terms with another of their arbitration-eligible players this afternoon, inking reliever Tyler Clippard to a one-year contract.

Clippard, who is in his first season of arbitration eligibility, will earn $1.65 million in 2012.

The 26-year-old right-hander has become one of the National League's most-effective relievers over the last two seasons, posting a combined 2.46 ERA and 216 strikeouts in only 179 1/3 innings. He earned his first All-Star selection last summer, finishing the season with a 1.83 ERA over 72 appearances.

By coming to terms today, the Nationals and Clippard avoid an exchange of salary figures that would have been required tomorrow. With Clippard, Jordan Zimmermann, Tom Gorzelanny, Gio Gonzalez and Jesus Flores now all signed, the only remaining unsigned arbitration-Read more »

  1. Nattydread - Jan 17, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Really good news. Nats management really aggressively showing that they want to get things done. Haven't seen this before!

  2. Steve M. - Jan 17, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Mark, any whispers you are hearing on Michael Morse?

  3. natsfan1a - Jan 17, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    I'm glad for both sides that they've been able to avoid arbitration in each of these cases.

  4. gonatsgo - Jan 17, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    You know, these are really good guys and are going at pretty low prices. Maybe they should have been locked in for at least two years? We'll be doing this again next year if they don't sign some extensions. Looks like the organization did not want to go to arbitration.

  5. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Zuck — seems like you're loving the extension these days — might be time to extend Morse, might be time to extend Clippard (who has 3 more arb eligible years remaining). The club likely regrets that Burnett deal (and they have a $250K buy-out of his 2013 option to pay in addition to the $3.7m you mentioned too, as there is no way they are giving a Loogy $3.25M more next year, one has to believe at this point). I know Clipp is a different pitcher, but his salary upside going forward is pretty tolerable year to year, unless they let him close. Now, if the plan is to extend Clipp at some decent salary for several years and trade-away Storen and insert Clipp as closer, then great, that might work out to save them a bunch of coins. But, I am guessing that is not the plan.dfh21

  6. The Joker - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Now he can spend some money on a pair of glasses that doesn't make him look like Poindexter.

  7. NatsLady - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    They are not going to split up Clipp and Store. Remember Davey's plan for an "A" bullpen and a "B" bullpen? I think the one-year deals are a hedge against signing Prince F. If he is signed, that's a big financial commitment into the future and the Nats have to be cautious. If not, then they can afford to make some longer term deals for pitchers (who always run the risk of injury but whose payback is high.)

  8. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    It's a joke that Clipper gets so few $$$.

  9. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Clippard's glasses are part of his branding–can't change it without something to replace it.

  10. NatStat - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Clip deserves more, like about $1-2mm more!

  11. NatsLady - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Anon @4:27 — I agree. That's what makes me think something else is in the works for both Clipp and JZimm once the PF situation is resolved.

  12. Steve M. - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    dfh21, I think you take a more conservative approach with extending relievers because keep in mind that their burn-out rate is quicker than starters and there has only been 1 Mariano Rivera.I take a more aggressive approach with the top 3 in the starting rotation and the best performing starting position players depending on age and where they are on the stats curve if they are a + on the curve.The Kearns deal is a reminder of giving a lucrative extension to a player with "potential".

  13. Cwj - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Good news.So what is the bullpen going to look like this year?Am I missing anyone here?StorenClippardBurnettRodriguezGorzelannyMattheusDetwiler

  14. Section 222 - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    I find it hard to imagine that the Nats will keep both Gorzelanny and Detwiler in the bullpen. My prediction is that one of the three lefties (Gorzo, Det, Lannan) will be in the rotation, one in the pen, and one will be traded. Stammen may be the seventh reliever in the RH long relief role. But it's possible we sign Coffey or another veteran for that slot.I completely agree with your point about lucrative extensions @Steve M, but did you have to remind us of the disaster that was Austin Kearns? Next you'll be thinking of a way to conjure up the ghost of Paul LoDuca.

  15. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    I agree Sec 222 — Does Detwiler make the club? Gorz can at least throw it by some guys. I think Detwiler's spot is likely going to be some hard throwing RHP. And I think that Gorz might surprise and make the rotation. His stuff is better thatn the other two, for the small amount that might be worth.dfh21

  16. Cwj - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Thanks Sec222.I had forgotten about Stammen, and I figured Lannan was pretty much a lock for the rotation. I would rather have Detwiler in the rotation, but we'll see what happens in Spring Training.There is kind of a logjam though isn't there. Though I guess they could carry 8 relievers.

  17. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Who was complaining when the Nats made the Austin Kearns deal?? No one. The world applauded the shrewd move, only in hindsight was it crazy.

  18. SpingfieldNatsFan1 - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    NatsLady–If you're right about the lack of long term extensions for players like Clip or JZimm being because of the potential of the PF Flyer…then it again emphasizes to me why I'm against that deal. We need to tak care of the core of our team rather than getting "saddled" with a giant contract for PF! I'd hate to see this team finally reach respectability then have to be slowly dismantled by free agency…..

  19. RPrecupjr - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    I think what's going on here is what NatsLady said. Now that arbitration is off the table, once the PF situation is resolved one way or another, I see a definite extension for JZim and a very probable extension for Clip.As far as the bullpen goes, there is no way they carry 8 in the pen, except maybe when they first break camp, as they won't need a 5th starter for a couple of weeks due to the usual early season scheduling as well as the inevitable April showers. Once the season really gets going, you can't carry 8 relievers as it leaves only 4 bench spots, one of which is your backup catcher, so really only leaves three. My pen still looks like this:Storen – 9thClippard – 8thMPHRod – 7thBurnett – LOOGY/7thGorzy – Long LeftyStammen – Long RightyMattheus/Coffey/Perry – wheneverNow on to the issue of who is in the rotation. Right now we have four: JZim, Stras, NatGio and Wang. That leaves us with Lannan and Detwiler. My preference is Detwiler. He finished strong last season and is finally healthy after his hip issues. He's younger than Lannan by 18 monthsand due to the hip issues definitely has less wear and tear on his arm. He has a better K:BB ratio as well as K/9. I think this is the direction the club is leaning, which is why Lannan is probably heading to arbitration. And, as far as I know, Detwiler has no PhilliePhobia like Lannan does, the one game last season notwithstanding.Why is it that 33 days still seems as far away as 73 did?Also, I'll post my baseball life story one of these days, I know you are all waiting anxiously :)

  20. The Joker - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    Johnson prefers an eleven man staff rather than twelve. Of course, Ankiel could be twelve in a pinch when there's the occasional blow-out.

  21. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    Clippard has had one REALLY good year (2011) and his BABIP was at a career low. If his ERA is 3.00+ with a 1.200+ WHIP and 40% of the runners he's inheriting are scoring like in 2010 will people be wanting him to be making 4-5 million? As for JZimm, I'm sure its just Rizzo and the FO making sure this past season is legit. No reason to think he won't get a Gio-esque deal.

  22. Section 222 - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Anon @5:04 — The world applauded the shrewd move? Really? Feel free to supply your evidence. I do remember that Ladson repeatedly said that Kearns had the possibility of being a 30 HR, 100 RBI guy. Oh well.

  23. Gonat - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    Sec 222 is correct only this site didn't exist. I can tell you how upset I was that Bowden was making the Nats a clone of the Reds!

  24. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    JZimm needs to throw a 200+ inning season before the club will be thinking about innking him long term. dfh21

  25. Positively Half St. - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    It isn't easy to remember Perry as part of the bullpen mix, especially when you consider he was traded for Balester, who would have had trouble making the team, as well.I can't imagine it would be too easy to make an arbitration case against The Beast after last year. I hope they have something still in the works. I want to keep seeing that smile and enthusiasm.+1/2St.

  26. Roberto - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    "I think this is the direction the club is leaning, which is why Lannan is probably heading to arbitration."I hope not. Joe Saunders who, as I have noted on several occasions, isn't as good as Lannan, just got $6 million from the Diamondbacks. What is Lannan worth. Granted, he doesn't have the service time but he is a better pitcher and younger. Listen. I'd love to see Detweiler remove all doubt about being worth the number six overall selection in 2007. If that happens, then the Nationals' rotation could be scary good. ESPN might even have to mention them on Yanks-Sawx Tonite.

  27. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    Detroit television is reporting that the Tigers could be a new player in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes, since Victor Martinez is now out for the 2012 season with an injury. Prince's dad, Cecil, fondly called Tiger Stadium home. Hope Prince decides the Nats, and not Detroit.

  28. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Sec222 — I think Anon 5:04 is right to some extent on the Kearns extension. The Nats inked Nick Johnson and Brian Schneider to extensions around the same time, trying to establish a core of guys on the relative cheap. Kearns was a minor league prospect ratings star, had a big MLB season at age 26 in 2006 and most people thought he was going to be a productive slugger for years to come, no? The same way guys like Johnson and Schneider seemed to be quality plays. Seems dumb now, but I don't think that the Nats wer crazy to lock-up a 27-year old former first rounder who had been a top minor league performer and a recent MLB success (50+ XBH in 150 games in 06), and overall good guy in Kearns. Not sure there was applause from anyone, but it was not a bad move when made in my mind.dfh21

  29. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    Lannan files for $5.7 million. Nats file for $5 million.

  30. David - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    i'd like to see Clip signed for 3 years/9 million right now. just get it out of the way. the best setup man in the majors deserves a legit contract.

  31. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    The best for one year…

  32. Mark'd - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    How can't CAA and Rizzo meet in the middle on Lannan? Only $700K /14% apart.

  33. natsfan1a - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    That's their starting point for negotiations, so meeting in the middle, or somewhere else mutually satisfactory, could still occur before arbitration, right?On another note, this Twitter update from Mark just about makes me giddy (I know–how lame is that?): RT @BenRaby31 WFED 1500AM will air 9 Washington Nationals Spring Training games starting March 3, with @Charlie_Slowes & Dave Jageler.

  34. natsfan1a - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Also, I always liked Kearns and felt bad for him when things started going south. (Then again, I'm suppose I'm kinda like Violet Bicks where my Nats are concerned. As Mary Hatch once told her, "You like *all* the boys." :-))

  35. natsfan1a - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    er, "I" suppose.

  36. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    A Frank Capra reference has been thrown-out into the fray? Nice.Hee-haw!!dfh21

  37. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Nats are low-balling Morse. Nats filed at $3.5M and Morse filed at $5M. He is surely deserving of more than $3.5M!!!!

  38. Eugene in Oregon - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Anon @ 6:55,Remember that the arbitration system doesn't purport to establish what a player 'deserves' or his 'true value' or anything of the sort. The panel considers a number of different factors — not least the player's years of MLB service — and looks for comparable stats from comparable players in deciding which of the two offers is more in line with league norms. In the past, MLBTR has run some useful explanations of how this is done (particular what stats are most valued). They also do a prediction (based on these stats) of what each player is likely to get. And for Mr. Morse they came up with $3.9m. Given the way the system works, that would put the Nats' offer a lot closer to his predicted salary than Mr. Morse's proposal would. I'm not suggesting that the MLBTR numbers are perfect, but if they've come up with a good formula, then the panel might well be inclined to go with the Nats' $3.5m offer. What we don't know, however, is what number the Nats have been using in private negotiations with Mr. Morse and his agent. If that number is — let's say — around $4m, making the $3.5m the official offer could well lead to a mutually agreed settlement in the low $4s. That's what I would expect.

  39. whatsanattau - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    of the players listed on MLTR Morse and Lannan differences are both fairly minimal. I'm not sure $5 M with a 1.5 variance is significant. Lots of other player/teams are $3-$4M in difference. When you are only $1.5 difference, I don't think you can be fairly accused of low balling. I anticipate a settlement.

  40. natsfan1a - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    dfh, I wish I had a million dollars – hot dog!

  41. Anonymous - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    natsfan1a –Boys and girls and music, why do they need gin?dfh21

  42. Anonymous - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Wow!! Did Clip ever get ripped off. He should have gone to arbitration. Absolutely. What a steal for the Nationals. Lannan gets 5 mil. and Clip gets 1.5? Huh?????

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