Veteran reliever Clippard says trade talks not hard to ignore
By Jake Rill
PHOENIX -- In two weeks, the D-backs' roster may look different than it does now. They got an early start on making moves when they sent closer Brad Ziegler to the Red Sox on July 8. Before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline, there could be more coming.
Sitting in last place in the National League West, 13 games below .500, the D-backs are likely to be sellers this year, looking to get some return for their more sought after players.
With trade rumors continuing to swirl, even more so as the Deadline approaches, it could be easy to think that may be in the back of the minds of players whose names are in those conversations. Arizona reliever Tyler Clippard said that's not the case.
"As players, we're so routine-oriented and we have the ability to put the cleats on every day, go out there and focus on the task at hand each individual day," Clippard said. "All the other stuff that's outside what's right in front of us on a day-to-day basis is something that we don't really process, for the most part."
Clippard knows what it's like to be traded midseason. Last year, the veteran middle reliever got his first taste of being dealt near the Deadline. He went from the struggling Athletics to the playoff contender Mets, who eventually went on to make the World Series.
In 10 years in the Majors, Clippard has played for five teams and he has been traded three times. But last year was the first time it happened during a season.
"For me, it was an awesome experience," Clippard said. "It can be hectic during the time when you have to travel and go to where the other team is and get acclimated to a team that kind of already has a team dynamic in place, especially in the middle of the season. But usually when things like that happen, everybody's pretty much very accepting and welcomes you with open arms."
Clippard and fellow D-backs reliever Daniel Hudson have both had their names reported in trade rumors in the past week.
Clippard is 2-3 with a 3.53 ERA in 38 appearances this season. He is under contract until the end of the 2017 season after signing a two-year deal with Arizona this past offseason.
Hudson is 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA in 39 games. He has had a recent string of bad outings after starting the year strong, posting a 22.50 ERA over his past nine appearances. Hudson is only signed until the end of this season.
But even in an age where trade rumors flood Twitter and MLB Network is on the television in some clubhouses, Clippard said not all players follow or even hear them.
"That's an individual basis, it's whether or not you're on your phones and looking at all that stuff. I don't, I'm very simplistic, live as simple as possible, try not to get involved with all that stuff," Clippard said. "I'm really focused on today and getting the job done, and winning a game and then moving on to tomorrow. That's just kind of how I operate."
Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.