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Clippard traded to New York Mets

Jul 27, 2015, 7:38 PM EDT

USA Today

Given the rumors linking the Nationals to former fan favorite Tyler Clippard this week, the worst fears of many have perhaps been realized.

Clippard is coming back to the NL East, but he won’t be pitching in Washington. The New York Mets have instead traded for the two-time NL All-Star.

Clippard, 30, was shipped to the Oakland Athletics this offseason after pitching seven years in Washington. The return was Yunel Escobar, who has been indispensable for the Nationals this season. But with struggles in their bullpen, there’s no doubt Clippard has been missed.

Now he will help the Mets who are the Nats’ most legitimate threat to repeating as NL East champions. New York should benefit immensely from having Clippard, who will likely be their setup man ahead of Jeurys Familia.

Clippard was the closer for Oakland for much of this season and posted 17 saves with a 2.79 ERA. He has a 2.65 ERA in 449 games since become a full-time reliever for the Nats in 2009.

The Mets sent pitching prospect Casey Meisner to Oakland for Clippard. A 6-foot-7 starter, Meisner has a 2.89 ERA in 41 total minor league games.

The Nationals will see Clippard and the Mets very soon in New York this weekend. The Mets will also play one more time in Washington from Sept. 7-9.

Clippard was always popular among fans, so it will be interesting to see what sort of reception he gets now that he plays for the enemy.

  1. manassasnatsfan - Jul 27, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    Mets traded a close hanger for him.

    BTW I forgot how bad Angel Hernandez is. Home plate ump tonight. Worse I have seen all years.

    As far as I can remember we have avoided Angel all season.

    • mauimo22 - Jul 27, 2015 at 8:36 PM

      How aren’t these umps graded or something? There seems to be many awful umps who hang around forever without any improvement. They don’t seem to like the Nats either, perhaps because of their pre-Canadian roots or a DC thing. We have the technology today that shows have many balls they call strikes so why aren’t they assessed, graded, and retrained? Give Angel some desk duty for a while and let him take baseballs apart, one rubber band at a time!

      • natfan33 - Jul 27, 2015 at 8:51 PM

        It’s called a Union

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 27, 2015 at 10:24 PM

        They are evaluated and they do get feedback about balls and strikes, which supposedly has helped.

        There aren’t a lot of penalties or incentives, tho the best umpires are supposed to work the post-season.

  2. coop202 - Jul 27, 2015 at 7:57 PM

    Hope clip gets a nice round of applause in mop up duty… Still get the sense that was more of a defensive move by the Mets to keep him from us. Not too hopeful we do anything now.

  3. adcwonk - Jul 27, 2015 at 8:37 PM

    With Mejia and Familia, the Mets didn’t really need him all that much (although somebody said that Mejia is barred from playoffs) — although the Mets did have a bit of a weakness with 6th and 7th innings. The Mets still need hitting (although the need is not as much as it was a week ago).

    OK, all — we got ourselves a real pennant race developing. It ought to be fun!

    • npb99 - Jul 27, 2015 at 10:03 PM

      I think it will be good for the Nats to have to fight their way into the playoffs. They won with huge leads in 12 and 14, coasting to the finish line, and we know how that ended. Maybe a nail-biter of an end to the season will help keep them fresh for the playoffs this year.

  4. ArVAFan - Jul 27, 2015 at 8:53 PM

    So here’s some fodder for an off night: summary of the Clint Robinson Q & A on Saturday in Pittsburgh. If I have quotes around his answers, then I’m quite sure of the phrasing (no, I wasn’t using a tape recorder. So sue me.) If not, then I’m paraphrasing.

    How to prepare as a bench player?

    “I stopped over-warming. I would swing and swing and then I’d be tired when I got to the plate in later innings. But in Chicago, with no batting cages and not much of a dugout, I couldn’t really warm up. When I realized I was better at the plate without the extra cage work, I stopped over-warming.” 40,000 people yelling at you is enough to get your adrenaline going.

    Does the 2015 bench squad have a nickname for themselves, like the Goon Squad?

    “No, because we’ve pretty much been the starters.”

    Who on the team has helped you most with the transition to the majors?

    “Desi. His locker is next to mine.” He’s always been the steady influence in the clubhouse. “He never brought his on-field troubles into the clubhouse.” I know I mentioned him a lot, but he really is a leader on and off the field.

    Biggest transition to the majors?

    Seeing each pitcher, learning what each pitcher’s stuff is like.

    What’s with the nickname “Bat Hoarder”?

    “In the minors, if you don’t want to be using Dick’s Sporting Goods quality bats, you have to buy your own. So I would take extra bats from the prospects who didn’t want them. Yes, I have a lot, and I have no idea what I’m going to do with them after baseball. I think my wife is thinking ‘furniture.'”

    Does the crowd bother you, when they’re yelling or doing the wave? [someone started the wave the night before]

    “No. You have to ignore the crowd or you couldn’t play.”

    Developing any secondary pitches in case you get called on again?

    That was really interesting. Matt asks if anyone wants to pitch an inning, and hey, I’m just glad to be in the majors, so my hand is up waving. Haven’t pitched since high school, but I’d do anything to help.

    And he’s expecting a baby in September (no, he didn’t give an exact due date).

    Random notes from PNC Park:

    1. They don’t have an organ. They recorded the now-deceased former organist, and just play the clips.

    2. The broadcast into the restrooms is terrible: barely intelligible at best. Nats Park beats them hands down on that.

    • Bruxtun - Jul 27, 2015 at 8:59 PM

      Great stuff!

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 27, 2015 at 9:16 PM

      Very cool – thanks for sharing. Appreciated the comments re: Desi.

      The fans who hate him don’t understand how his teammates can love him. But they do.

      • npb99 - Jul 27, 2015 at 10:06 PM

        Oh, come on, HH. No one hates Desi. We’ve all just been very frustrated with his poor play most of the year, espeically when we needed him to play well when everyone but Harper was injured.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 27, 2015 at 10:34 PM

        You’re right–I don’t know what’s in their hearts.

        So I will edit that to “fans whose frustration leads them to say ridiculous, hyperbolic and hateful things about Desi.” Fixed!

        The complaints about Desi go way back before this year, but they have reached a fever pitch over the past couple of months, including commenters who would watch a 3 second shot of the dugout and claim that from the players’ body language it was clear they were just as done with Desi as the fans were.

        Really stupid, stupid stuff.

    • Tyler Babip - Jul 27, 2015 at 9:36 PM


    • knoxvillenat - Jul 27, 2015 at 9:38 PM


      Were you in Pittsburgh when these questions were asked? What did you think of PNC as a stadium? I ask because I’m thinking of doing a road trip there next season and haven’t been to PNC as of yet. I did my road trip to Cincinnati this year in late May and I’m open to suggestions as to other stadiums to visit, especially in the National League. Thanks for your thoughts.

      • ArVAFan - Jul 27, 2015 at 9:57 PM

        Oh, yes, I was definitely in Pittsburgh (as part of the Nats destination trip). But there were hundreds of fans there, in addition to the destination trip group. So you’d be in good company if you do a road trip next year. In past years, there’s been enough Nats cheering to hear on the radio.

        PNC is a beautiful park. I would definitely recommend a visit. Fans were quite friendly (even the game we won). There are lots of hotels within walking distance, and plenty of other things to do there besides PNC Park (unless you’re just into baseball, and not art, food & beer, or kayaking on the river).

        Other NL stadiums: definitely Wrigley Field–and be sure to arrange for a stadium tour. I’ve been to Progressive Field, Rogers, Petco, and Fenway, too. Fenway is a must, Petco is nice, Rogers is memorable (but for different reasons than, say Fenway or Wrigley). Progressive–meh. Wait until the Nats play there again in a few years, and make a side trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to make a Cleveland trip worth it.

        My two cents. YMMV.

        And what did you think of the Great American Ballpark?

      • Dave - Jul 27, 2015 at 11:12 PM

        I second what ArVaFan said about PNC and the folks in Pittsburgh.

        I was actually assigned the task of leading the NATS NATS NATS cheer on Saturday by the guy who usually leads it in section 313 at Nats Park. I did so while seated in the comparable section at PNC, although I was surrounded by Pirates fans. I was nice to them and they were nice to me. They actually picked up on it and spelled out BUCS BUCS BUCS when they scored. However, the season ticket holder next to me said they would probably only do that when the Nats come to town.

        After the game–the one the Nats won 9-3–the most incredible thing happened to me in the concourse–twice. My wife and I were walking along with our heads down engaged in conversation. Out of nowhere, a PNC usher comes up to me, shakes my hand, and congratulates me on the Nats’ win. That kind of blew our minds.

        But guess what? About two minutes later, a bit farther down the concourse on the 300 level, a group of 20-something Pirates fans came up to us and did the same thing, completely out of the blue. Congratulated us on our team’s win.

        Pittsburgh is most definitely not Philadelphia. We will be making that trip again. A wonderful town with a beautiful ballpark and great people.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2015 at 10:35 PM

      Good to hear what he said about Desi because contrary to what some don’t want to believe, Desi is a leader.

    • Doc - Jul 27, 2015 at 11:17 PM

      Hey thanks ArVAfan!

      Fun read!

      Consider your sports reporter career started!

    • 3on2out - Jul 28, 2015 at 5:45 AM

      Great stuff ArVAFan! Thank you. But no love for PNC? I found it to be spectacularly gorgeous.

      • Dave - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:32 AM

        From ArVaFan: “PNC is a beautiful park. I would definitely recommend a visit. Fans were quite friendly (even the game we won).”

        So it looks like plenty of love for PNC to me.

    • natsfan1a - Jul 28, 2015 at 6:49 AM

      Thanks for sharing the Q&A info, ArVa.

      And, for Knoxville, PNC is great, and I recommended AT&T Park as well, if you’ve not yet been there.

      • natslive - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:21 PM

        PNC and AT&T are both great and Fenway and Wrigley as well. We enjoyed Miller Park when we went to see the Nats there, Coors was ok, Petco (SD) was nice too. Houston was ok when we saw the Nats there. Saw Livo pitch at old Busch Stadium – have to say the Cards fans were great when we were there. The old Metrodome was awful when we saw the Nats there – glad that park is gone. Progressive is ok.

  5. Greg - Jul 27, 2015 at 9:28 PM

    Mets #9 prospect (who is having a good season in the minors) for two months of regular season play. I would not trade the Nats #9 prospect for Clip.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 27, 2015 at 10:03 PM

      I thought it was 15 not 9.

      Who is our 9?

      • therealjohnc - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:25 AM

        Where Meisner falls on the prospects list depends on (a) whose list it is; and (b) when the list was drawn up. He’s been rising last season and into this year. To copy a post I made in a previous thread:

        “Clippard wasn’t going to get a [Qualifying Offer]. It’s very rare that a relief pitcher gets a QO, because who wants to pay a relief pitcher $16-17M a season? The only ones that have gotten a QO, for better or worse, are top of the line established closers. Clippard wasn’t that before his numbers faltered a bit this season. So as an initial matter your premise is false – Oakland wasn’t going to get a compensation pick for Clippard.

        But play that out – could the A’s have gotten someone better than Meisner with the supplemental pick? Meisner was a 3rd round pick two years ago, but has been rising fast – his value is considerably greater now that he’s established that he’s made the transition to pro ball out of high school. I’ve seen a considerable split in value on his assessments. Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs on Meisner:

        “Meisner is an inventory arm that could be a back-end starter, but he’s only 20, so the chance for Oakland winning a projection gamble and getting a mid-rotation guy is still alive.”

        Compare that with Keith Law of ESPN on Meisner:

        “If healthy, at worst he could be a Chris Young type with a better breaking ball, and at best he could become a No. 2 starter as he still has a lot of room for growth — both physical and mental.”

        Unsurprisingly, Law hates the deal from the Mets’ side. Even if you accept the QO/supplemental pick for Clippard (which I don’t, but hey), then it’s quite possible that Beane is on the Keith Law side of the projection for Meisner – in which case he could well value that above the supplemental pick (that he wasn’t going to get anyway). Could the Nats have beaten that? Sure – but it would have taken more than Voth or Pivetta to do it. Lopez or Cole could have, but who wants to give up that much for 30 expensive innings from Clippard?

  6. Nats Fan Zee - Jul 27, 2015 at 9:35 PM

    i’m heartbroken … and very concerned.

  7. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2015 at 10:32 PM

    From Ken Rosenthal: Sources: #Nationals hottest on Kimbrel. Also linked to Chapman. Friend of Rizzo: “I will almost bet my house that he will do something big.”

    • rlndtln - Jul 27, 2015 at 11:03 PM

      Make the Kimbrel deal Friday after the Mets play 3 with the Padres.

    • natsnatsnatswoo - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:26 AM

      I wonder if that friend of Rizzo is his former landlord, initials J.B.?

  8. manassasnatsfan - Jul 27, 2015 at 11:31 PM

    Soriano gives up 2 run homer in 9th. Cubs were leading 7-4 going into 9th now losing 8-7

  9. janebeard - Jul 28, 2015 at 2:12 PM

    I am also heartbroken. He is REALLY GOOD. I never wanted to see him on the field with us unless he was ONE OF US. I will cheer for him at Nats Park and then hope we can break him. Yikes.

    I don’t want the Nats to get someone like Kimbrel or Paplebon who will close instead of Drew, Drew is our closer. It’s in the earlier innings that we need help.





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