Arizona currently has Brad Ziegler etched in as the team’s closer, with Daniel Hudson possibly being the primary setup man. With Clippard in the mix, he could contend for the closer role, but would likely be used in a setup role. He had 19 saves in 2015, with 17 coming with the Oakland A’s, he had two more after being traded to the New York Mets at midseason. He had a career-high 32 saves in 2012 with the Washington Nationals as the team’s full-time closer.
The Rays are likely hoping for more of a home-town discount to land Clippard for a late-inning bullpen role. He is from the Tampa area, and a return home could be appealing. With remaining unsigned so far into the offseason, the Rays could sign him on a discounted price.
Due to being traded during the 2015 season, Clippard was not eligible to receive a qualifying offer, therefore a team that signs him will not lose a draft pick — which has proven to be an issue with the free agent market this offseason.
Along with his 19 total saves in 2015, Clippard posted a 2.92 ERA, appearing in 69 games with 71 innings pitched.