11:22am: Parra will earn $2MM in 2014 and $3.5MM in 2015, according to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
11:04am: The Reds and left-hander Manny Parra have reached an agreement on a two-year, $5.5MM contract, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter links). Parra is represented by agent Joe Urbon of CAA Sports.
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. Under Price, who served as the team's pitching coach in 2013, Parra completely abandoned his slider and changeup in favor of a fastball/curveball/splitter mix that appears to have been quite effective. He also saw his average fastball velocity jump to a career-best 93.4 mph.
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. Though Jocketty hasn't made any large splashes yet this offseason, this is the third two-year deal he's agreed to with a free agent. The Reds have also signed utility man Skip Schumaker and backstop Brayan Pena to two-year deals.