HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros and free agent reliever LHP Tony Sipp have agreed to terms on a three-year contract through the 2018 season, Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today.
Sipp, 32, has been an integral member of the Astros bullpen in each of the last two seasons, during which he has established himself as one of the game's premier left-handed relievers. In his two seasons with Houston, he has posted a 7-7 record with four saves, a 2.66 ERA (31ER/105IP), 125 strikeouts, 32 walks and just 69 hits allowed (.184 opponent batting average) in 116 appearances. In that span, he has ranked among the top five American League left-handed relievers in wins (T-2nd), opponent batting average (3rd), ERA (5th, min. 60IP), strikeouts (5th), strikeouts per 9.0 innings (5th, 10.71) and WHIP (5th, 0.96).
Last season, Sipp posted a career-low 1.99 ERA (12ER/54.1IP) for the playoff-bound Astros, which marked the lowest ERA produced by an Astros left-handed reliever since LHP Billy Wagner in 2003 (1.78). Among AL lefty relievers, Sipp ranked second in ERA and fourth in opponent batting average (.208).
In the 2015 postseason, Sipp pitched in all six of Houston's playoff games and was nearly unhittable, tossing 5.1 scoreless innings of relief while allowing just one hit. In the AL Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium, Sipp fired a hitless 7th inning to help the Astros secure a 3-0 victory and a berth in the American League Division Series against the Royals, in what was his first career postseason appearance.
Sipp was originally acquired by Houston on May 2, 2014, when he signed with the club as a free agent after asking for and being granted his release from the Padres. In seven Major League seasons, he has compiled a 21-16 record with six saves, a 3.50 ERA (141ER/363IP) and 392 strikeouts in 420 games. Sipp has been equally effective against both left-handed and right-handed batters in his career, holding lefties to a .213 (135x635) average and righties to a .201 (136x675) batting average.