The Diamondbacks have signed veteran right-hander Anthony Swarzak and added him to Major League camp as a non-roster invitee, per a club announcement. The Jet Sports client worked out for clubs back in January after he didn’t pitch with an organization during the 2020 season. (He was with the Phillies on a non-roster deal but was cut loose at the end of summer camp.)
It’s been a few years since Swarzak, 35, enjoyed a full, healthy season at the big league level. He inked a two-year, $14MM deal with the Mets prior to the 2018 season — a move that proved regrettable when shoulder and oblique issues derailed much of his 2018 season. The Mets included him in the Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz/Jarred Kelenic blockbuster, primarily as a financial counterweight. He was traded to the Braves early in the year and went on to pitch reasonably well with Atlanta, though he again spent time on the IL that summer due to shoulder problems.
Back in 2017, Swarzak thrived in a career year split between the White Sox and Brewers. Through 77 1/3 innings, the righty worked to a 2.33 ERA with a terrific 30 percent strikeout rate against a strong 7.3 percent walk rate.
It’d be a stretch to expect that level of dominance at 35 years old and after a year of not pitching, but since returning from a KBO stint in 2015, Swarzak has tallied 201 1/3 innings of 3.98 ERA ball with peripherals that generally match that output. He’ll give the D-backs some depth in the bullpen and, given the unsettled nature of their relief corps, ought to have a chance at winning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Arizona has shored up the bullpen a bit over the past month, signing Joakim Soria and Tyler Clippard, but there are still multiple spots up for grabs.