Mark Sheldon is reporting that the Reds have agreed to a two-year deal with left-handed reliever Manny Parra. has confirmed that Reds left-handed reliever Manny Parra is back with the Reds after he signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract on Wednesday. Parra will earn $2 million in 2014 and $3.5 million in 2015. He has already passed his physical.

Parra enjoyed an excellent bounce back season with the Reds in 2013. Steve Adams from MLBTR analyzes the deal this way:

Parra, 31, enjoyed a tremendous rebound campaign for the Reds in 2013, posting a 3.33 ERA with 11.0 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 43.8 percent ground-ball rate in 46 innings. Parra demonstrated a significant platoon split, however, holding left-handers to a brilliant .167/.237/.238 batting line but yielding a .310/.370/.524 line to right-handers.

His ideal role appears to be that of a left-handed specialist, though his usage will depend on new manager Bryan Price. Last season, Dusty Baker split Parra’s time evenly, allowing him to face 95 right-handers and 93 left-handers.

While Parra’s platoon split is more pronounced than that of Javier Lopez, Reds GM Walt Jocketty was able to secure an arm that was similarly effective against left-handed batters for less than half the price of Lopez’s three-year, $13MM contract with the Giants.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 54 Comments

  1. Glad they locked him up now before prices go up…

  2. I like this deal…good, serviceable arm that seems to have “found it” under Price last year. Hopefully his success continues.

  3. Good job, I didn’t realize he was that horrible last year against right handers though. That’s brutal. Either way, good signing, now lets get Simon locked up for a couple years too. Hopefully he’ll also come at a reasonable price.

    • @ToddAlmighty: No problem with Simon. He’s under team control for two more years. He’s arbitration eligible. The experts are estimating he’ll earn $1.6 million this year. Here’ a link to an article about all the Reds’ arbitration-eligible players.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Oh, good news then. For some reason, I thought Simon was a free agent too. If the Reds can get Simon and LeCure for the $1.7m and $1m that they’re projected for on that link, great. It also makes me keep thinking about why anyone would ever want to pay huge money for relief pitchers (Broxton’s 3yr/$21m) when there’s Simons, Parras, and Hoovers out there to be acquired for little to nothing.

        Are we just spoiled by Brian Price’s ability to make something out of nothing when it comes to relief pitchers?

        • @ToddAlmighty: No, we’re not. Relief pitchers are, typically, highly replaceable. I bang this drum all the time, but there is almost never a reason to spend much money on a player who is only going to throw 60 or 70 innings.

          • @Jason Linden: Jason: I know better than to argue about your factual basis for referring to relief pitchers as “highly replaceable,” but seek clarification: I assume that you mean individual pitchers, because the bullpen as a unit pitches considerably more innings than does any starting pitcher, maybe a third of the team’s total. Many of the innings are high-leverage, as well, so a good bullpen must be a necessity for a contender, no?

          • @Jason Linden: An individual pitcher maybe. But a quality pen can be very difficult to replace. In effect, the entire pen is simply an additional player on the field. One part of that can be replaceable. But, if you have a quality pen, just like a quality player, it never is highly replaceable. It may be easy to find parts, but not necessarily quality parts.

        • @ToddAlmighty:

          Are we just spoiled by Brian Price’s ability to make something out of nothing when it comes to relief pitchers?

          I believe blessed might be a better evaluation than spoiled. As an aside, Price spells his first name with a ‘y’ rather than an ‘i’. The Old Cossack has to repeatedly look it up to be sure.

    • @ToddAlmighty:

      I didn’t realize he was that horrible last year against right handers though.

      I’m not sure that Parra was that bad against RH hitters, once he got his act together. If the Old Cossack’s memory isn’t going whacky again, Parra was brutal against everyone during the 1st couple months, but especially against RH hitters. After the middle of June or so, Parra started his run of success as a LOOGY but progressed to longer stints against both LH and RH hitters with continued success.

      • @Shchi Cossack: If I remember right, he had like a really bad week in May that messed up his stats for a long time, then another bad week later in the season, other than that, he was pretty darn good.

  4. Bam!

    this signing was important. He locked down left handers last year. A little more work and maybe a new refined pitch to get our right handers also and you have another Sean Marshall.

    I am happy with who he is for us today. But he has stuff that has not been fully realized.

    Kind of the Mark Belisle goes to Denver story

  5. I like this.

  6. Right now, Jocketty has about $20M committed to players who figure to be relief pitchers next year.

    I do not want to hear any complaints about a lack of money. If you can afford to spend that kind of cash on the pen, you can afford to bring in a serious OF bat.

    • @Jason Linden:

      And they are said to be looking at free agent RH Chad Qualls for the bullpen too. He rebounded nicely last year with the Marlins. He does have a phenomenal GB% rate. 35 isn’t necessarily old in the bullpen, I guess.

    • @Jason Linden:

      Jocketty has about $20M committed to players who figure to be relief pitchers next year. I do not want to hear any complaints about a lack of money.

      Nice to see Manny back in the fold. I like the 2 year deal and the cost for this contract. The 2 year guaranteed for Ondrusek and the 3 year overpay for Broxton were bad deals that only get worse. Now, if WJ and Price can get Chapman out of the bullpen, the cost of the bullpen will start to move the the right direction, but until Ondrusek and Broxton are gone, well…

    • @Jason Linden: What I fear is that WJ will deal a rotation pitcher for a left fielder … and I fear that will be Homer Bailey. I’d maybe **maybe** trade Hanigan for a left fielder.

      I agree that a cheap, functional bullpen is good enough, so long as it isn’t Pedro Villarreal. Even Curt Partch can get people out.

      Honestly, Parra isn’t a guy I would not consider as an occasional starting pitcher. He is currently more predictable than Tony C is.

    • @Jason Linden: Maybe Walt just knows he isn’t going to get a bat and is trying to shore up the pitching. I mean that sarcastically, but I’m a little afraid it’s true. The Reds seem somewhat unhealthily obsessed with bullpen arms as an organization. What gives?

      • @Matt WI: I wouldn’t be sarcastic: there aren’t many really helpful bats available, and any of them would cost a lot of treasure and/or good players we now have or important organizational strength. The Reds have been pretty successful for a few years with pitching, defense, and not much hitting (Joey excepted).

  7. Gotta love the deal for both the cost and the level of depth it provides. I for one am not sold that Marshall is 100% healthy, so this is a welcome signing.

    So much for Donnie Joseph filling this role. Come to think of it, Walt has a great record of giving up on guys who have marginal to no success afterwards. Horst, Sappelt, Alonso, Grandal, Didi.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Let’s give Donnie Joseph more than 40 innings in the bigs before we put him in that group. I think he still has a chance. You are right though, that list doesn’t have that great of a track record..Didi is the best out of the group.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Alonso’s slash over over 1120 PA’s (1000 even ABs) is .279/.346/.395. I hardly think he belongs in the group you put him with. In a hitter neutral park he is probably an .800+ OPS and in a band box maybe even above .850 and pushing .900

      I know he came out of “THE U” but other than speculative guilt by association, I’ve yet to see or hear any indication he was involved in the PEDs.

      • @OhioJim: Oh how I wish we had Alonso … IF

        He had a glove with him.

        • @Johnu1: The Reds needed Latos more than they needed Alonso who was a big part of the price of getting Latos.

          That said if things had worked out another way, I think Alonso could have played a competent LF given the conditioning and other prep work he was already well into when he was traded. But of course that would have made the Reds even more left handed at the plate which has been an ongoing issue for them.

          • @OhioJim: Alonso has a chance to be a very good hitter despite wearing flippers on his hands. I realize we would lefty heavy but against 3/5 of the league, that isn’t a problem. I doubt the Latos deal got done without him and I have no intentions of evaluating THAT trade again two full years later.

            Just that Alonso is a hitter, probably better than he has shown.

          • @OhioJim: I also think the Alonso-type signing will be a thing of the past for the Reds in the near future — meaning, guys who bring a bat and maybe a chance to play 1B. That would include the Juan Francisco type signings — good hitters who have no spot on the field. To that end, having Votto in the fold will help the Reds draft a little smarter in the future. There isn’t room for 6 first basemen and 11 left fielders. Somebody has to play defense.

  8. That’s another 40 man roster spot up for grabs. WJ better get busy and start moving some of those players

  9. I was surprised last year on how hard Parra threw. I just don’t remember his fast ball being able to getting up in the mid-90s when he was with Milwaukee.

    • @earl: Parra was a starter with Milwaukee, so that affected the speed of his fastball. Early in the season with the Reds, he was throwing his fastball up to 95 but was getting hammered because all he threw were fastballs and hanging curve balls. Then he developed the slider under Price, and the results speak for themselves.

  10. Did the Reds ever make an official announcement regarding the 1st base and 3rd base coaches?

    • @Shchi Cossack: Latos, in an interview on BOR, implied that he knew but that the organization hadn’t made it public. Seems like a few T’s and I’s need to be modified.

  11. Team friendly contract. Great signing.

    • @TC: Yes a bargain. I’d call it a Price-friendly contract. No pun intended but there it is.

  12. While I do like this deal I don’t understand why the Reds are only allowed to give out two year contracts. Also, that is a really expensive bullpen.

  13. No one has asked the question yet…so will the Reds have 3 LH pitchers in the bullpen or does this move signal that one of the starting pitchers (Bailey, Leake) will be dealt to make room for Chapman as a starter and to free up payroll??

    • @redsfandownunder: No one’s asked the question because no one has an answer. My suspicion is that the Reds are looking to see if they can replace Choo’s offense by trading Homer.

    • @redsfandownunder: If Chapman is in the bullpen having 3 of your 7 bullpen pitchers as lefties is okay with me. Especially with 4 of 5 of your starters are righties. And all three lefties are back of the bullpen pitchers.

    • @redsfandownunder: I still think Price will be pitching Cingrani and Chapman alternating with each other. Neither has pitched a full major league season yet, Cingrani being the closest with 100 innings last season. When one sits for a start, he will be pitching out of the pen for a spell. I just hope they keep an eye on those “in-between” innings, just not how many but when they occur.

  14. I’ve liked all 3 free agent signings so far. But more pieces need to be added to solve the puzzle. One big piece is needed – a bat to replace Choo’s offense.

  15. PS The bat to “replace Choo’s offense” might be Choo, but doubtful.

    • @pinson343: With the kind of figures being thrown around, they would probably have to move Ludwick or Marshall along with BP and Homer to afford Choo.

      And the problem I’ve had all along is I don’t see how they can just move all these up front in hope of landing Choo because if they failed to get him they would be in an even bigger hole than they are now.

  16. Though unlikely, I hope the Reds keep all three catchers. Not sure if anyone has noticed this, but Pena *well* can backup Votto at 1st. It also allows a lot of flexibility at the catching position as well. Pena is worthy, if just off the bench. But you can also bring in Hanigan as a late inning defensive substitute and not worry what they will do if has to leave the game.

    • @TC: Never was a real fan of the 3 headed catching monster, but I have to admit that it was nice having Valentin be able to play first a couple years back. I guess the determining factor for me would be if it was best for the bench or not. Obviously it would not be effective when we needed a pinch runner, I could never imagine hearing “Now running at first, Ryan Hanigan.” over the PA, but I can see where other double switches would be useful. I still think we can do better at bench options by not carrying a third catcher, but there are situations where it would be useful. I believe that teams are still too conservative when it comes to using their back up catcher, especially late in games for fear of having to bring him in to catch in case of injury or a 15 inning affair. How often does that actually happen?

      • @preach: It would seem that if the Reds wanted a backup first baseman, they’d just sign one. Frazier can play 1B but Schumaker can’t play 3B. I guess the point is, I have zero idea why the Reds signed Pena and if the plan is to keep Hanigan, then could the Reds have gotten a better backup 1B/PH? Probably not for that money. Catching depth is a good thing but with 3 guys on the MLB roster, one of them has to change his role.

        Are we sure Mesoraco isn’t the guy we’re dangling?

  17. I just really hope that the Yankees miss on Cano. If they wait around too long, I could totally see another team, like the Cubs, coming out of nowhere and making him their franchise player. Surprise teams seem to be more and more common these days.

    And if that happens, I think the Yankees become a good trade partner with the Reds. Obviously Phillips becomes their everyday 2B, but I also think that they are one of the only teams that you could convince to take Ryan Ludwick. Granted it would be selling pretty low on Ludwick, but they currently have Vernon Wells slated to be their everyday DH, and he had a .631 OPS last year. That’s terrible.

    So Ludwick gives them an upgrade and Phillips gives them a solid player, and the step down from Cano starts to no look so bad. If you say Cano is a 6 win player, I think that Phillips can give them around 3, and the upgrade from Wels to Ludwick at DH is probably about 2. So the Yankees end up losing about a win next year, saving some money in the short term, and saving a ton of money in the long term.

    The Reds clear 20.5 mil off their books for next year, which should be enough to get Choo or at least Granderson.

    • @al: Who plays 2B when he’s not on first?

      • @Johnu1: I’m not sure what you mean by “when he’s not on first,” but clearly if the Reds trade Phillips at all, that will be an issue to address.

        Schumaker actually makes more sense to me as a slightly below average starter at 2B than he does as a bench guy, because he can’t play short, so I’m not sure who’s spot on the bench he takes, and if he’s an upgrade there.

        Phillips put up a .706 OPS last year, and the year before that Schumaker put up a .707. Last year Schumaker had a .665 OPS, so he may be a step back, but if he can rebound to the low .700s, the Reds wouldn’t really lose anything on offense between him and Phillips on offense.

        I think the lineup of


        is probably better than what we had last year.

        • @al: I’m still not sold on BHam yet, and especially in the leadoff spot. I could see this working, but if we lose Phillips, and can’t resign Choo, then this situation is dire. I certainly prefer getting the OBP over the power at this point. I just don’t think Hamilton will do it right now, but someone has to be on in front of Joey and Jay.

          • @preach: yeah, i hear you on the leadoff spot. choo probably makes more sense there, at least next year.

            i do think that hamilton won me over last year though. i don’t expect him to hit for the average he did of course, but the amount of bunt singles and infield singles he’s going to get make me think it’s going to be pretty close. and when he get on, he’s clearly a game changer. the fact that he covers so much ground in center just makes it a done deal for me.

        • @al: Al, Who’s on First? No reason to analyze it.

  18. The whole Robinson Cano thing is pretty interesting…I really wonder what their commitment is to that situation. The implications for the Reds on something like this is rather extraordinary too. Should the Reds find the Yankees a viable trading partner, I think things could get interesting. I’m not completely sure the Reds should trade Phillips… but if they are hell bent on doing so… then I would propose a deal with them that might look pretty bad for the Reds but would give the Reds some flexibility. The Yanks need pitching… I’m worried about Cueto…I think the cards look tough next year…I would offer Cueto and Phillips for Gardner and Ichiro. I would use the extra money to make sure Arroyo can retire as a red, Homer stays a Red, and not everything rests upon Ludwick and Hamilton.


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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


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