The Nationals came to terms with another of their arbitration-eligible players this afternoon, inking reliever Tyler Clippard to a one-year contract.
Clippard, who is in his first season of arbitration eligibility, will earn $1.65 million in 2012.
The 26-year-old right-hander has become one of the National League's most-effective relievers over the last two seasons, posting a combined 2.46 ERA and 216 strikeouts in only 179 1/3 innings. He earned his first All-Star selection last summer, finishing the season with a 1.83 ERA over 72 appearances.
By coming to terms today, the Nationals and Clippard avoid an exchange of salary figures that would have been required tomorrow. With Clippard, Jordan Zimmermann, Tom Gorzelanny, Gio Gonzalez and Jesus Flores now all signed, the only remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible players are Michael Morse and John Lannan.
Though Clippard agreed to a one-year contract today, it's possible he and the Nationals could work out a multi-year deal at some point. He's certainly a prime candidate for a two- or three-year contract, and the Nationals have been willing to give those type of deals to relievers in the past. Last winter, the club gave left-hander Sean Burnett a two-year, $3.7 million extension, buying out his final two years of arbitration.