6:36pm: Parra will receive $520K plus a potential $1.28M in bonuses if he makes the Majors, Jon Heyman tweets.
9:08am: The Cubs announced that they’ve signed left-handed reliever Manny Parra to a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training (Twitter link via the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales). Parra is represented by CAA.
Last year, the 33-year-old Parra logged a 3.90 ERA with 6.4 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 and a 45.9 percent ground-ball rate in 32 1/3 innings for the division-rival Reds. That marked his third straight season with Cincinnati after five years with the Brewers, so by signing with the Cubs, he’ll continue on in the only division he’s known (at least for the next few weeks).
Milwaukee tried Parra out as a starting pitcher for much of his time in the organization, but he’s struggled to a 5.44 ERA out of the rotation in his career (74 starts) as compared to a 4.01 ERA coming out of the bullpen. Right-handed batters have given Parra plenty of trouble in his big league career, hitting him at a .290/.370/.440 clip, whereas lefties have posted a .254/.330/.391 batting line. Those career marks against lefties are somewhat misleading, however, as Parra has excelled against southpaws since being removed from the rotation. Over the course of his three years in Cincinnati, Parra faced 249 left-handed batters and held them to a paltry .222/.285/.333 slash.
The Cubs already have a number of left-handed relief options in camp, including Clayton Richard, Travis Wood and Rex Brothers — all of whom are on the 40-man roster. Beyond that trio, lefties Jack Leathersich and Edgar Olmos are in camp as non-roster invitees. Suffice it to say, Parra faces significant competition and perhaps an uphill battle as he seeks to make the roster.