The flurry of activity to get free agent signings in before tonight’s looming lockout has made its way to the desert. The Diamondbacks have landed the services of Mark Melancon on a deal being reported at two years and $14 million.
Right-handed reliever Mark Melancon and the Arizona Diamondbacks are in agreement on a two-year, $14 million contract, a source familiar with the deal tells ESPN. @Ken_Rosenthal had Melancon going to Arizona.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 1, 2021
Melancon most recently played for the San Diego Padres. He served as their closer and posted a league-leading 39 saves for the NL West rivals in 2021. Since 2013, Melancon has been a consistently good bullpen stalwart, though his success in the closer role has been a bit hit or miss. The Padres took a “flier” on Melancon in 2021 and were richly rewarded for their $2 million lottery ticket. The Diamondbacks it seems are willing to pay full fare for his services, hoping he will be just as good again in both 2022 and 2023, his age 37 and38 seasons.
The singing of Melancon raises questions about what direction the team is headed in 2022. On one hand, some bullpen stability will be nice to see in the desert. It is something that has not been seen much since the departures of Archie Bradley and Andrew Chafin. On the other hand, the team’s glaring weaknesses go far beyond the bullpen and will likely take the entirety of Melancon’s contract to address, at which point he will be gone and the team will need to find his replacement.
Still, the Diamondbacks are getting themselves a nice bullpen arm. In 13 seasons, Melancon has a 2.79 ERA (3.36 FIP) across 670.2 IP. He sports a 1.141 WHIP to go along with his 608:171 K:BB ratio.
More on this as the news unfolds.
Updating with terms: