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Brewers acquire reliever Taylor Clarke from Royals

Two minor leaguers go to Kansas City in return

Tampa Bay Rays v Kansas City Royals - Game One Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Brewers acquired reliever Taylor Clarke from the Kansas City Royals, the club announced on Thursday. Minor-league pitcher Ryan Brady and infielder Cam Devanney went to Kansas City in return.

The 30-year-old Clarke began his career in a swing role with the Arizona Diamondbacks and was a core member of the Royals’ bullpen over the last two seasons.

After a solid 2022 campaign in which he posted a 4.04 ERA, 3.30 FIP, and 3.77 DRA, Clarke struggled mightily last year. In a career-high 58 appearances, he registered a 5.95 ERA, 5.07 FIP, and 4.82 DRA.

In 279 13 innings across five seasons, Clarke owns a 5.03 ERA, 4.95 FIP, and 4.87 DRA.

The Brewers are presumably focusing on Clarke’s stuff over his results. His best pitch is a hard slider that averages 88.5 mph. He also added a sweeper to his arsenal in 2023, giving him a second slider with less velocity and more lateral movement.

Clarke’s fastball has been hit hard throughout his career, including a .420 opponent wOBA last year. However, it averaged nearly 95 mph with above-average ride. His arsenal is rounded out by a changeup that he throws to left-handed batters.

Even if he cannot make better use of his fastball, Clarke’s strong breaking stuff could still translate to solid results. His slider, sweeper, and changeup all induced whiffs on over 30% of swings last year.

Clarke has one minor-league option year remaining and is controlled through the 2025 season.

Brady signed with the Brewers as an undrafted free agent in 2022 and made it up to Double-A in 2023. In 81 professional innings, he has posted a 2.67 ERA and 2.84 FIP.

Devanney has experience at all four infield positions. He spent most of 2023 as the primary shortstop at Triple-A Nashville, hitting .271/.362/.461 for a 107 wRC+.

The Brewers’ 40-man roster now sits at 39.