Nats deal for Clippard from Yankees

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, December 04, 2007 | , | 0 comments »

Continuing his Winter Meetings trading spree, Washington Nationals GM Jim Bowden traded right handed reliever Jonathan Albaladejo to the New York Yankees in exchange for right handed starter Tyler Clippard.

Clippard, 22, was 3-1 with a 6.33 ERA and 1.704 WHIP for the Yankees in six starts. His final numbers were marred by his last two starts as he gave up a combined 11 earned runs against the Pirates and Mets. He has a variety of pitches and is considered a fairly polished pitcher. In parts of four minor league seasons, he was 29-28 with a 3.52 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and a K/BB ratio of 640/173 in 609.1 innings.

Albaladejo, 25, went 1-1 with a 1.88 ERA in 14.1 innings for the Nats last year. In six minor league seasons before his call-up he had never pitched above Double-A, compiling a 34-24 record, 3.54 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. He was converted from starter to reliever in 2005.

BOTTOM LINE: Clippard becomes an immediate candidate for the starting rotation. His excellent strikeout rate and control shows he knows how to pitch and a move to the NL will only accelerate his progress. Albaladejo has a good make-up and good stuff and definitely benefited from being moved to the pen full-time two years ago, but he was a spare part for the Nats in the bullpen. This is exactly the type of trade Bowden should be making, trading from a position of strength to bolster a weakness.