The White Sox have agreed to a minor league pact with veteran right-hander Bobby Parnell, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Parnell, who is represented by ACES, opted out of a minor league deal with the Royals last week.
The 32-year-old Parnell has yet to reestablish himself as a quality big league reliever after undergoing Tommy John surgery back in 2014. Since Opening Day 2014, he’s logged a collective 30 1/3 innings in the Majors with a 6.53 ERA and more walks (23) than strikeouts (18). He did still manage a ground-ball rate north of 50 percent in limited action across each of the past two seasons, and Parnell’s fastball velocity remained a healthy 94.9 mph, on average, in his brief stint with the Tigers last season. That, however, is down quite a bit from the 97 mph he averaged at his peak with the Mets from 2010-13.
Chicago will hope that Parnell can get back to that 2010-13 form, during which he posted a 2.79 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 across 213 innings. Chicago’s bullpen has been among the best in baseball, though the team is also widely expected to trade away some of its veteran contributors, including closer David Robertson. Adding Parnell could give them an experienced depth option to turn to following some of those moves, though his 2017 performance to date hasn’t exactly been encouraging. Through 21 innings with the Royals’ Triple-A affiliate in Omaha, he’s been tagged for a 4.71 ERA with 17 strikeouts, 13 walks and a 42.2 percent ground-ball rate.