Texas Rangers rumors: Tyler Clippard and the Arizona Diamondbacks have been in contact, per a report from Nick Piecoro, and the D-Backs apparently believe they have "made progress toward a deal."
So, what does this have to do with the Rangers?
Well, Texas and Arizona have been linked all offseason in trade rumors, with the D-Backs supposedly being interested in Rangers relievers Shawn Tolleson and Keone Kela. The Rangers seemingly have six pitchers -- Tolleson, Kela, Sam Dyson, Jake Diekman, Tom Wilhelmsen, and Tony Barnette -- who are locks to be in the Opening Day bullpen, and that group doesn't include a second lefty or a long man.
With Sam Freeman, Andrew Faulkner, Luke Jackson, Nick Martinez, and several other viable candidates hanging around, the Rangers have both a strong and deep bullpen situation, and could deal one of their established relievers to get starting pitching depth (Archie Bradley has been mentioned as someone the Rangers have interest in) or outfield help.
While signing Clippard wouldn't necessarily take Arizona out of the reliever market, it would reduce their need in that area, and make it less likely the D-Backs would make a move for one of the Rangers' relief pitchers.
So, just something to keep an eye on, in these days leading up to pitchers and catchers reporting.
UPDATE -- Per Ken Rosenthal, a deal has been reached between Clippard and the D-Backs:
Source: Clippard in agreement with #DBacks on two-year, $12.25M contract.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 8, 2016