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Should the Cubs bring back Blake Parker?

The former Angels righthander spent many years in the Cubs system.

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Blake Parker pitching for the Cubs in spring training 2015
Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Blake Parker was recently non-tendered by the Los Angeles Angels.

As noted by Ken Rosenthal in The Athletic, this decision was somewhat surprising:

Parker, 33, produced a 3.26 ERA in 66 1/3 innings last season, pitching less effectively than he did in his stellar 2017 campaign, but certainly well enough to merit a salary that industry sources projected to be between $3.3 and $3.5 million in arbitration.

Parker was the Cubs’ 16th-round pick in 2006, and spent five-plus years in the system before getting a brief callup in 2012. He had a reasonably good year out of the Cubs bullpen in 2013, was worse in 2014, and was let go after the 2015 season.

He’s the Iowa Cubs’ all-time saves leader, and that’s never good, because it means you’re spending too much time in the minor leagues.

But Parker persevered; briefly with the Yankees, he had this waiver odyssey in 2016:

And then he put together a really good year for the Angels in 2017: 2.54 ERA, 0.832 WHIP, 1.8 bWAR. He wasn’t quite as good last year, but still posted a 1.0 bWAR season and he’s had excellent walk rates over that span, just 2.4 per nine innings. Last year he walked 19 and struck out 70 in 66⅓ innings.

So what would it take to sign Parker?

Parker is drawing widespread interest as a free agent, according to a source; all five teams from the AL Central have checked in, among many others. His goal likely is a two-year contract that would buy out his remaining arbitration years. A one-year deal might be more realistic, and Parker at least figures to get a number similar to what he would have earned in arbitration.

So somewhere in the area of $3 million would do it. Given the Cubs’ recent money-saving moves, maybe they wouldn’t want to pay this for a 33-year-old reliever. On the other hand, you can never have too many effective relief pitchers and that walk rate is quite attractive.

I realize this isn’t a big deal either way, but it’s a slow day. So... would you do it?


Bring back Blake Parker...

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Yes, at the approximate $3 million price
    (114 votes)
  • 26%
    Yes, but at a lower price
    (85 votes)
  • 37%
    No — that ship has sailed
    (119 votes)
318 votes total Vote Now