It took a few weeks after the trade deadline, but the Houston Astros have finally made a move. The team struck Sunday night, acquiring reliever Tyler Clippard on waivers from the Chicago White Sox.
The deal was first rumored to be in the works by a number of prominent writers, but Clippard may have actually broken the trade. Before it was official, Clippard updated his social media pages to indicate he was a member of the Astros.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) August 14, 2017
It’s the second time Clippard has been traded this season. The 32-year-old began the year with the New York Yankees, but was shipped to Chicago in the David Robertson, Todd Frazier and Tommy Kahnle deal. Over 46 1/3 innings, he’s posted a 4.27 ERA.
Most of Clippard’s poor performances came as a member of the Yankees. In 36 1/3 innings in New York, Clippard had a 4.95 ERA. With the White Sox, he seemed to figure things out, posting a 1.80 ERA over 10 innings.
The biggest reason for the switch has been Clippard drastically cutting his home run rate. As a fly ball pitcher, Clippard tends to give up home runs when things are going poorly. After giving up seven with the Yankees, Clippard did not surrender a home run as a member of the White Sox. It’s a small sample, but Clippard’s turn around is likely the reason the Astros showed interest in picking him up. For what it’s worth, Clippard claims watching video with White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper got him to make some adjustments. Cooper is regarded as one of the better pitching coaches in the league.
Though Clippard was performing well, the deal makes sense for Chicago. While Clippard leaves the team’s bullpen bare, he had no future with the franchise. Clippard is in the last year of the contract, and the White Sox weren’t going to spend millions to keep a reliever as they are in the middle of a rebuild. It’s no surprise they put him on waivers and tried to find a trade partner. Even if they are only getting back a player to be named later or cash, as reported by MLB.com’s Scott Merkin, it’s still the right move for them.
If the White Sox were truly able to get Clippard back on track, the move should make players on the Astros happy. Multiple members of the team have complained in recent weeks at the club’s inactivity at the trade deadline. Clippard is no longer a big name, but can still be a useful pitcher if he can limit the long ball.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –