So who is Parker?
The 35-year-old spent 2020 with the Philadelphia Phillies and made just 14 appearances in the shortened season.
But he is someone who has put up solid numbers in normal 162-game years and is certainly worth taking a chance on this season.
Blake Parker is signing a non-roster deal with the Indians. Close to $2.5M if all incentives are hit. Had an MLB offer buyouts chose the Tribe.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 16, 2021
Parker’s Career Up to This Point
The veteran reliever made his MLB debut back in 2012 with the Chicago Cubs.
The Indians are now his seventh team.
Parker has never been an All-Star and has obviously jumped from team to team quite a bit.
But he is still someone with a career 3.52 ERA and a 4.1 career WAR.
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) April 29, 2019
2017 was his best year as he made 71 appearances with the Los Angeles Angels and posted a 2.54 ERA.
Even in limited time last season Parker was able to post a 2.81 ERA and be more of an asset than a liability for the Phillies.
The stat that stands out is his career 10.3 K/9 mark.
That is a number you love to see, especially from someone coming to camp on a non-guaranteed deal.
And if he makes the roster and earns his $2.5 million salary he will be the highest-paid pitcher on the team.
Competition Among Camp Invitees
Parker joins a growing list of relief pitchers getting a shot with the Indians out in Goodyear, Arizona this spring.
Bryan Shaw may be the most notable of the non-roster bunch due to his history with the Indians.
Right now Parker is the only one of the bunch who looks poised to win a job as long as
he doesn’t implode on the mound this spring.
He looked just fine in 2020 and the fact the Indians would offer him up to $2.5 million proves they believe he has a good shot to make the team.
Offering him that money on a non-guaranteed deal shows trust on both sides.
Parker probably could have taken less elsewhere, but believes in himself enough to give it a go with the Indians.
The Indians front office has a track record of finding gems during Spring Training.
Someone like Parker was lingering on the open market and is now the most high-profile player showing up as an invitee.
His age is one factor that could have worked against him, but all that matters is if he can still pitch.
Last year seemed to prove he can.
Inviting Shaw to camp was a big story because of his past in town.
Parker is someone fans should be more focused on because this isn’t some last-ditch attempt to land one more job.
He is a serious bullpen piece and could end up making more than Shane Bieber this season.
That automatically makes him a name to watch and adds to the minor insanity of how the Indians are operating financially.