Manny Parra Rumors

National League Non-Tenders

Here are today’s National League non-tenders. All decisions must be in by 11pm CT tonight. Be sure to track all tender decisions using MLBTR's Non-Tender Tracker. Related resources include our list of non-tender candidates, our projected arbitration salaries and our arbitration eligibles series.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.


NL Central Links: Dempster, Garza, Cardinals, Parra

Perhaps no division will be more active at the trade deadline this summer than the NL Central, which houses three sellers (Cubs, Brewers, Astros) and three buyers (Reds, Pirates, Cardinals). Here's the latest from baseball's only six-team division…

  • The Cubs are at an impasse with the Dodgers over Ryan Dempster while the Braves continue to monitor the situation according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. People in the game think Atlanta could get involved with Dempster again even though their first deal fell through.
  • If the Cubs don't trade Matt Garza this summer, he seems likely to be dealt in the winter, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. A trade seems likely as the two sides haven't discussed a contract extension since talks broke off this spring.
  • Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports that the Cardinals have discussed Francisco Liriano with the Twins as they look to bolster their pitching staff before the deadline.
  • The Brewers have had some inquiries about Manny Parra, but they may keep him and try him as a starter again, Knobler tweets.
  • The Pirates have acquired outfielder/first baseman Christian Marrero from the Braves for infielder Brian Friday, reports Dan Simpson of Talking Chop (on Twitter). Both players will head to Triple-A, adds Michael Sanserino of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).

Zach Links contributed to this post.


NL Central Notes: Correia, Greinke, Hart, Ramirez

Here’s the latest out of the NL Central as we keep a close eye on the latest Zack Greinke rumors..

  • The Pirates have moved Kevin Correia to the bullpen to make room for Wandy Rodriguez in the rotation and Correia isn't thrilled about it, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  The Angels could be interested in acquiring the California native, who says that he hopes to get back to being a starter.
  • As it stands now, Greinke is scheduled to pitch against the Nationals on Sunday, but Nats skipper Davey Johnson doesn't expect to see the right-hander on the hill, writes Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.  "I'd be real surprised," Johnson said. "I know in the past if a ballclub's intent on making a move, you're not going to pitch him two days before the deadline."
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com handicaps the most likely destinations for Greinke and the Rangers top the list with 9-5 odds.  The Red Sox are categorized as a longshot with 100-1 odds.
  • Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter) believes that someone will bite on the Pirates' Kevin Correia as he is owed just $1MM for the rest of the year.  The Bucs are reportedly sending signals that they could part with Correia after acquiring Wandy Rodriguez.
  • Teams have expressed interest in Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. However, the Brewers would be have to be overwhelmed to trade either player.
  • Brewers relievers Francisco Rodriguez, Jose Veras, Manny Parra and Kameron Loe had been drawing interest, but their value “tanked” following a poor showing in Philadelphia this week, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
  • Astros GM Jeff Luhnow suggested to Rosenthal that absorbing salary can help Houston obtain better prospects in trades. “In this environment, you’re limited in how much money you can spend on the draft, how much you can spend internationally,” Luhnow said, referring to the rules regulating amateur spending in baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement.
  • Pitching prospect Shelby Miller is available in trade talks, yet the Cardinals don't appear anxious to make an impact deal, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter).

Zach Links contributed to this post.



Rosenthal On Hamels, Giants, Brewers

Talks between Cole Hamels and the Phillies will accelerate this week, as the sides consider the possibility of a mid-season extension, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. Hamels must decide whether to accept an offer from the Phillies with the trade deadline looming and free agency just a couple of months away. The left-hander is “conflicted” about how to proceed, Rosenthal writes. The Phillies will almost certainly trade Hamels if they don’t sign him to a long-term deal, Rosenthal reports. Here are more notes from around MLB…

  • The Giants’ biggest offensive need might be a right-handed hitting outfielder.
  • A rival executive notes that the Nationals have relied heavily on their bullpen and suggests it’d make sense for Washington to add a starting pitcher this summer.
  • The Twins would want a major return if they trade Josh Willingham, who has a reasonable three-year, $21MM contract.
  • Some teams like Asher Wojciechowski, a right-handed pitching prospect acquired by the Astros from Toronto in last week’s ten-player deal. Overall the trade wasn’t considered a blockbuster, however.
  • Brewers relievers Manny Parra and Kameron Loe are drawing interest.
  • The Phillies might need to include cash if they trade Shane Victorino. Including salary relief could help the team obtain better prospects for the prospective free agent.

Brewers, Parra Avoid Arbitration

The Brewers announced that they avoided arbitration with left-hander Manny Parra. The sides agreed to a $1.2MM salary for 2012, MLBTR has learned. The CAA sports client had a projected salary of $1.2MM, according to MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz.

As MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows, the Brewers have five remaining arbitration eligible players: Kameron LoeShaun MarcumNyjer MorganFrancisco Rodriguez and Jose Veras. They've already locked up Carlos Gomez and George Kottaras.

Parra, 29, missed the 2011 season with back and elbow injuries, but he has a 5.13 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in four seasons with the Brewers. He earned $1.2MM in 2011 and was arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason.


Greinke Hurt; Brewers Appear To Have Enough Depth

Like their division rivals, the Brewers lost a top starter to injury before the season even started. But unlike the Cardinals, the Brewers have reason to expect their ace back before long. As a result, it appears that Milwaukee has the depth to get by without making external additions.

Zack Greinke cracked a rib playing basketball and will start the season on the disabled list, so the Brewers will begin the eagerly anticipated 2011 campaign without their most accomplished starter. Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson should provide rookie manager Ron Roenicke with a strong front four and the team doesn't expect to need an extra starter very often; GM Doug Melvin told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that the Brewers will only need a fifth starter three times in April.

Parra

Though the Brewers have a thin farm system – Baseball America ranked it 30th among the 30 MLB organizations – top prospect Mark Rogers started two games for the club last year and could be an option this spring. Rogers, a raw 25-year-old, has an upper-90s fastball and a potentially devastating curve, according to Baseball America. Those tools helped him post a 3.65 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in the minors last year after missing 2007 and 2008 with shoulder operations. The right-hander has encountered some shoulder issues again this spring, however, so he's no sure thing.

But the Brewers don't have to push Rogers to the major leagues, since Manny Parra (pictured) is available, as long as his back stiffness passes, as he expects it to. The left-hander has averaged 24 starts over the course of the past three seasons, including 16 starts in 2010. He posted a 5.02 ERA with 9.5 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 as a swingman last year, logging 122 innings.

Roenicke recently told McCalvy that he considers Tim Dillard, Wily Peralta and Amaury Rivas potential starters as well. The team's current options don't compare with Greinke, but Parra, Rogers or someone else should be able to provide the Brewers with a handful of solid starts as their ace recovers.

Photo courtesy Icon SMI.


Players To Avoid Arbitration: Tuesday

Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them – it's a question of how much the players will earn.

Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:

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Discussion: Manny Parra’s Future

After three seasons of up-and-down performance as a starting pitcher, Manny Parra will reach arbitration for the first time this winter.  Parra will get a significant raise from his current $440K contract in spite of his 5.29 ERA in 101 major league appearances (74 of them starts), and is probably looking at a 2011 contract in the neighborhood of $1MM.

There's a slight chance that the Brewers could non-tender Parra, a possibility raised by MLB.com's Adam McCalvy in the wake of Parra's recent demotion back to the bullpen.  Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin said that any discussion of non-tendering the southpaw "are questions for the offseason" and first the team would have to "see how he does out there [in the bullpen]."

Milwaukee has already shown a lot of patience with Parra's development, McCalvy notes, and it would be odd for the team to cut him loose so early in his major league career.  Parra will only be 28 on Opening Day 2011, has a ridiculously unlucky career BABIP of .351 and has impressive minor league numbers — a 3.06 ERA and an 8.6 K/9 ratio in 109 career appearances on the farm.  Given all the question marks in the Milwaukee rotation heading into next season, it's probable that Parra will get another shot at winning a starting job.

What might be worth investigating, though, is whether Parra's future lies in the bullpen, not the rotation.  It may not seem like a proper use of Parra's value to convert him to relief pitching forever, but in the short-term, it could be an idea to help the left-hander find some consistency in the majors. 

Parra has a 4.10 ERA and 3.2 K/BB ratio in 27 career relief appearances, as compared to a 5.44 ERA and 1.71 K/BB ratio in 74 career starts.  As a reliever, he would seemingly improve on both of his major trouble spots as a starter — his control issues (a 4.5 career BB/9 rate) and his problems facing batters more than once through the order (a .708 OPS the first time he faces them as a starter, an .820 OPS the second time around and a .942 OPS the third time through).

John Axford has been a great story for the Brewers, but the Canadian right-hander came from far enough off the radar screen this season that he isn't a lock to duplicate this success as their closer in 2011.  If Parra did well enough in a relief role, he could even be groomed for the closer's job in the future.


Top Trade Chips: NL Central

Let's continue our series looking at each team's top trade chips with the NL Central…

  • Astros: Teams can ask for Hunter Pence, but it's just not happening. 26-year-old catcher J.R. Towles and his five years of team control could be shopped with top prospect Jason Castro coming up behind him. If Houston falls way out of it, Roy Oswalt could be made available, but it would be a massive PR hit. He's owed $31MM through 2011 with a $16MM option ($2MM buyout) for 2012, and would have to approve any trade. Dealing him would signify the start of a full rebuilding effort. 
  • Brewers: Yovani Gallardo was never going to be moved in the first place, but his new contract extension all but guarantees it. Manny Parra seems to have fallen out of favor, but a lefty who can dial it up to the mid-90's will always have value on the trade market. He still has three years of arbitration eligibility ahead of him. 
  • Cardinals: The Cards dealt away most of their top prospects for Matt Holliday and Mark DeRosa last year, so there's not much left to move. Triple-A catcher Bryan Anderson and Double-A outfielder Daryl Jones could be used in a trade since the big league team is pretty well set at those positions. Jones is more highly regarded of the two. Colby Rasmus is untouchable, obviously.
  • Cubs: Josh Vitters, the third overall pick in 2007, watched his name pop up in trade rumors involving Jake Peavy last year. If Chicago is willing to eat some of the $26.5MM left on his contract, there would be interest in Kosuke Fukudome.
  • Pirates: Neal Huntington has completely turned over the team's roster since taking over in September 2007, dealing away every notable veteran player. He did, however, build up a nice inventory of veteran relievers this offseason. Octavio Dotel, D.J. Carrasco, Brendan Donnelly, and Javier Lopez could all be used as trade fodder this summer.
  • Reds: Cincinnati is clearly a team on the rise, but one young player they could make available is the blocked Yonder Alonso. The power hitting first baseman masquerading as a left fielder in Double-A has all six years of team control left, and is the best trade chip in the division.

What’s Next For Jeff Suppan?

11:35am: MLB.com's Adam McCalvy tweets that Suppan is throwing a simulated game today, as he's been dealing with a stiff neck.

8:13am: The Brewers have three pitchers up for their fifth starter job: Jeff Suppan, Manny Parra, and Chris Narveson.  Though all three are in line to throw today, manager Ken Macha was evasive when asked about Suppan's schedule (Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporting).  Macha also supplied a vague answer when asked if a roster move should be expected today.

A month ago, Suppan made our list of five overpaid veterans who could be released.  The Brewers would have to assume his remaining $14.5MM, which doesn't strike Haudricourt as likely.  The Brewers may choose to keep Suppan, Parra, and Narveson, but since Parra and Narveson are out of options, Carlos Villanueva would have to be demoted.

A trade could clear the logjam, though Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports wrote Saturday that the Brewers have not discussed Parra with other clubs.