Royals bring in Clarke for bullpen help

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The Royals had been quiet for the most part this offseason; but General Manager J.J. Picollo and Dayton Moore have said the past few months that the team will be on the lookout for bullpen arms, and they believe they found one in right-hander Taylor Clarke. 

The Diamondbacks non-tendered Clarke on November 31, but the Royals signed him to a major league contract worth $975,000 with a $200,000 minor league assignment salary. “They showed a lot of interest in me, so it’s nice to go somewhere where you feel wanted. I’ve heard a lot of good things about their organization, so I was excited about the opportunity to join them,” said Clarke. 

In 2021, the 28-year old posted a 4.98 ERA in 43 games and struck out 39 batters. Clarke should be an upgrade for the Royals bullpen. I also believe KC signed him because the team can control him through the year 2025, making him a possible long term solution in the bullpen; and Clarke still has one minor league option remaining. Clarke has a four-pitch mix that includes a fastball, slider, changeup, and a curveball. Clarke’s fastball can hit 96 on a radar gun, but his slider is his go-to pitch to strike out  hitters. 

The Royals have many openings in the bullpen heading into the 2022 season with only three pitchers locked in for the upcoming season—Scott Barlow, Josh Staumont, and now Clarke. Clarke was a successful reliever in 2021 for Arizona before suffering an “right teres stain” according to Royals beat writer Anne Rogers. Despite the injury, the Diamondbacks showed interest in bringing back Clarke for the 2022 season before the Royals snatched him up right before a potential lockout between MLB owners and the MLB Players Association expired on Wednesday at 10:59 p.m. 

While I believe Clarke was a good signing by the Royals, I do expect the team to add another free agent reliever similar to Clarke this offseason with so many openings remaining in the Kansas City bullpen.

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Author: Connor Miller

I am a huge baseball fan, mainly Royals. I love writing baseball articles. I have been a Royals fan since birth. I am hoping to become a sports journalist someday.

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