Diamondbacks sign Mark Melancon as MLB’s owners lock out players

The All-Star closer signed a two-year deal mere hours before a work stoppage commenced


Ian D'Andrea

Melancon warming up for the San Francisco Giants in 2019. The Diamondbacks will be Melancon’s ninth MLB team.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have made a free agency splash as the organization looks to put a 110-loss season in the rear-view mirror.

Mark Melancon inked a 2-year deal, $14 million deal with the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, with the club confirming there is a mutual option for the 2024 season. 

Melancon’s 244 career saves are fourth among active pitchers. He has a 34-30 win-loss record and a 2.79 earned run average across his 13 years in MLB. He was named an All-Star last season while pitching for the San Diego Padres, and his 39 saves led the major leagues.

“I got to see that there is a lot of talent,” Melancon said about facing the Diamondbacks last season. “I don’t think that the record is indicative of the talent level that’s here.”

The Diamondbacks have started restructuring their squad after finishing with the National League’s worst record in 2021. The franchise has hired ex-Houston Astros pitching coach Brent Storm and chose not to bring back outfielder Kole Calhoun. General manager Mike Hazen also swung a deal to acquire Jordan Luplow from the Tampa Bay Rays. 

Last season, the Diamondbacks pitching staff combined for only 22 saves. The 36-year-old Melancon will slot in as the team’s new closing pitcher and cement himself as an experienced option in Arizona’s reworked bullpen.

However, there is great uncertainty in baseball at this time, as the league locked out its players on Wednesday night.

The owners and the player’s union could not come to an understanding on a new collective bargaining agreement. This means transactions around the league are frozen amid baseball’s first lockout since 1990.

It is unknown when a new agreement will be reached.