MARCH 12: Parker and his agent are consulting with other doctors before deciding on how to proceed, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. He’s expected to be in camp with the A’s on Monday, Shea notes, so we could learn more about the injury then.
MARCH 11: Athletics righty Jarrod Parker received devastating news today, with the team announcing that he has been diagnosed with a re-fracture of the medial epicondyle in his right elbow (via John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group, on Twitter). That’s the same injury that most recently shelved the once-promising starter, who has also battled through two Tommy John procedures.
Needless to say, it’s a terrible setback for the 27-year-old, who was hoping to return as a reliever. He left the mound in obvious pain yesterday, though hopes were that it was only an unrelated elbow issue.
Parker was still working back to strength after his most recent surgery, which took place in May of 2015, so there’s a long and uncertain road ahead if he chooses to keep trying to make it back to the majors. It’s not yet clear how he’ll proceed — no doubt, he’s not yet ready to commit to a decision — but the particular fracture was already considered an unusual and largely unprecedented injury to recover from.
After the Diamondbacks made him the ninth overall pick in the 2007 draft, selecting him out of high school, Parker rose quickly and cracked the majors at 22 years of age. He went to Oakland as the key piece in the Trevor Cahill deal after a brief debut in Arizona, plugging right into the A’s rotation after four quality starts at Triple-A. Ultimately, Parker provided 378 1/3 innings of 3.73 ERA pitching over 2012-13.
Unfortunately, it’s now been quite a while since we’ve seen Parker in action at the major league level. Since the end of that 2013 campaign, in fact, he has made just four minor league appearances.
Despite that, Parker has been accruing major league service time while on the DL and has managed to build up some fairly significant earnings based on his prior efforts. He made $850K in arbitration last year and agreed to the same sum this time around — half of which, notably, is said to be guaranteed. Parker will be entering his final season of arb control in 2017 before qualifying for free agency, and some creative contract work may be needed if he and the team decide to keep trying.