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Ex-Arizona Wildcats reliever Mark Melancon signs with D’Backs

mark-melancon-signs-arizona-wildcats-diamondbacks-mlb-free-agency-san-diego-padres-2022 Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Mark Melancon is returning to the state that helped launch his baseball career.

The former Arizona Wildcats reliever has signed a two-year, $14 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Melancon was a free agent after spending the 2021 season with the San Diego Padres.

This is Melancon’s third stop in the National League West – he previously pitched for the San Francisco Giants from 2017-2019 – and his ninth MLB team.

Melancon is a 4-time All-Star, most recently this past season with the Padres.

His 244 career saves are the 4th-most among all active pitchers, and he led the NL with 39 saves in 2021.

A native of Wheat Ridge, Colo., Melancon recorded 18 saves in a UA uniform. As a freshman, he appeared in the 2004 College World Series, where he threw 2 2/3 hitless in Arizona’s 7-2 victory over Arkansas.

His third and final season with the Wildcats in 2006 was cut short due to a strained elbow ligament.