D-backs agree to contracts with Johnson, Kennedy, Sipp and Ziegler
The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) announced they have avoided arbitration and agreed to terms with right-handed pitchers Ian Kennedy and Brad Ziegler (@BradZiegler), infielder Chris Johnson (@C_Johnson28) and left-handed pitcher Tony Sipp (@SippTony) on one-year contracts, according to D-backs Executive Vice President & General Manager Kevin Towers.
Johnson, 28, combined to hit .281 (137-for-488) with 28 doubles, 15 home runs and 76 RBI in 136 games with Houston and Arizona last season. He was acquired from the Astros on July 29, 2012 in exchange for Minor League outfielders Marc Krauss and Bobby Borchering.
Kennedy, 28, went 15-12 with a 4.02 ERA (93 ER in 208.1 IP) in 2012 and led the team in strikeouts (187) for the second straight season. His 36 wins since 2011 are the most in the National League, ahead of the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (35), Brewers' Yovani Gallardo (33) and Braves' Tim Hudson (32).
Sipp, 29, was 1-2 with 1 save and a 4.42 ERA (27 ER in 55.0 IP) in 63 games with Cleveland last season. Sipp, who was dealt to Arizona as part of a 3-team trade on Dec. 10, 2012, led all American League southpaws with 202 appearances from 2010-12 and has limited left-handers to a .215 career average.
Ziegler, 33, established career highs in wins (6), innings pitched (68.2), appearances (77) and opponents average (.228) in his first full season with the D-backs in 2012. His 21 grounded into double plays were a club record by a reliever and the most in baseball by a relief pitcher since the Orioles' Doug Sisk in 1988 (also 21).