D-backs reacquire Clark from Padres
San Diego receives Minor League pitcher as compensation
PHOENIX -- The D-backs acquired veteran first baseman Tony Clark from the Padres on Thursday in exchange for a Minor League pitcher.Clark, 36, waived a $500,000 assignment bonus from the Padres, which allowed the two teams to work out a trade, which had been discussed for about a week. Clark spent the last three seasons with the D-backs, but signed a $900,000 contract with his hometown Padres in the offseason after contract talks hit a snag with Arizona.
Clark will be going from a last-place club to a first-place club and will certainly see more playing time than he did with the Padres. As a backup to All-Star Adrian Gonzalez, who leads the Majors in innings played, Clark had only 88 at-bats with the Padres, hitting .239 with one home run and 11 RBIs."I am excited about the opportunity to come back to Arizona," Clark told MLB.com. "It's a very talented ballclub and I'm hopeful that we finish this season in the direction we were heading in at the end of last year. "I know first hand that there's a lot of talent in that clubhouse." The veteran flew from St. Louis -- where the Padres were playing the Cardinals on Thursday -- to Phoenix and will join the team before Friday's matchup against the Dodgers. Clark was known as a player that provided a clubhouse presence for the younger players on the D-backs last season. He even copyrighted his catchphrase "Anybody, Anytime," that was used to describe the D-backs' attitude toward winning last season. "Tony has seen a lot," D-backs general manager Josh Byrnes said. "He's a very open guy, soothing personality and I think he's the type of guy that encourages people. He saw this club succeed last year and in many ways the club is better than it was last year, we just need to play like it." "He's like Mufassa, the King Lion," joked catcher Chris Snyder. "I look forward to getting him back out here," Snyder said. "That's a great guy to have around. I try to follow him around to see how he goes about it. I was fortunate to be able to do it the last three years and it's good to have him back. I know guys are going to be excited to get him back in here." Byrnes said the switch-hitting Clark will be used in a similar role as he had in his previous tenure with the team, serving primarily as a backup to first baseman Chad Tracy, and as a late-inning pinch-hitter. Clark, who last year hit 17 homers in 221 at-bats and has 245 in his career, will enter the team as the second-oldest player on the roster behind 44-year-old Randy Johnson. Clark makes his offseason home in northwest Phoenix and will be able to spend more time with his kids. The D-backs sent Class A pitcher Evan Scribner, 22, to San Diego. Scribner, 22, was drafted in 2007 and is 0-1 with a 1.86 ERA in the Cal League. He entered the season with a 2.85 ERA in 47.1 innings and a strikeout/walk ratio of 61/14.
Mike Ritter is a conributor for MLB.com. Steve Gilbert contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.