The Athletics have won an arbitration hearing against right-hander Jarrod Parker, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter). The 26-year-old Parker, who missed all of the 2014 campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery last spring, filed for a $1.7MM salary on the strength of his strong work from 2012-13, while the A’s countered at $850K (as can be seen in MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker). Parker will earn $850K this season, which is $50K short of his $900K projection from MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz.
Formerly the ninth overall pick in the draft, Parker was acquired alongside Ryan Cook and Collin Cowgill from the Diamondbacks prior to the 2012 season in a trade that sent Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow to Arizona. Parker didn’t throw a pitch in 2014, but because a player’s first trip through arbitration is based on his career to date (unlike subsequent arb cases, which focus more on the platform season), he and his agents at Reynolds Sports Management still clearly felt they had a strong case. It’s easy to see why they felt as such, given Parker’s 25-16 record and 3.73 ERA in 378 1/3 innings of work from 2012-13. While wins and losses rightfully are becoming less common as a means of gauging a pitcher’s talent level, they still carry weight in arbitration. Parker has also averaged 6.5 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 42.5 percent ground-ball rate in his career thus far.
Though he’s unlikely to be ready for Opening Day, Parker should eventually move back into the Oakland rotation at some point this season. Both he and fellow Tommy John victim A.J. Griffin will give manager Bob Melvin options in what is already a deep staff of starting candidates. Budding ace Sonny Gray will lead the rotation along with revitalized veteran Scott Kazmir, and that duo will likely be joined by Jesse Chavez and Jesse Hahn. Candidates for the fifth slot include Drew Pomeranz, Chris Bassitt, Sean Nolin and Kendall Graveman, though Pomeranz would appear to have the inside track, as he is the most experienced of that bunch.
With Parker’s case resolved, Oakland has settled 11 of its 12 arbitration cases — a fairly staggering number — leaving only Tyler Clippard’s situation unresolved.