Clayton Richard has reached an agreement on a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks and will reportedly make his first start with the organization this weekend. The left-hander has been sidelined all season after undergoing surgery in February due to thoracic outlet syndrome.
Richard’s deal will be finalized once he passes a physical on Friday, according to Nathan Baird of the Lafayette Journal & Courier.
A former 8th Round draft pick, Richard spent a season and a half with the Chicago White Sox before being dealt to the San Diego Padres during the 2009 season as part of the team’s acquisition of Jake Peavy. With San Diego he’d flourish. Twice in the next four years he’d top 200 innings pitched while winning 14 games. He led the National League in 2012 with 33 starts and 228 hits allowed, but still posted a career best 1.235 WHIP.
Last season was more of a struggle for the now 30 year old. Richard posted a 7.01 ERA and 1.633 WHIP over 52.2 IP before going down for the season with an injury to the AC joint in his shoulder. The Padres outrighted him off their 40-man roster following the season and Richard elected free agency instead of being relegated to the minor leagues. Then once he needed to undergo another procedure this past February he knew it was time to focus on getting healthy again before joining a new organization.
“You don’t want teams to come in and you’re not healthy enough to be impressive. I’m just excited about another step in the right direction. It’s another opportunity to get back on a mound against professional competition. I’m excited to get out there.”
While the move is a low-risk one for the D’backs, Richard could prove to offer some additional pitching depth for the organization over the remainder of the season and potentially heading into next season. If he can prove his health enough he could figure into the team’s plans for next Spring given his extensive experience at the major league level.