The A’s have agreed to a minor league contract with reliever Parker Markel, MLBTR’s Steve Adams reports (on Twitter). The 31-year-old has 22 big league innings under his belt, having made 20 appearances split between the Mariners and Pirates in 2019.
Markel’s big league time was a struggle, as he allowed a 7.22 ERA. During that time, he walked an untenable 15.5% of opposing hitters and served up six home runs. The 6’5″ righty did average 95.6 MPH on his fastball in that limited look, however. And his slider, which he threw around half the time, generated whiffs at a slightly above-average rate.
While Markel hasn’t gotten results at the major league level to this point, he has a fine Triple-A track record. Over parts of four seasons there, he’s combined for a 3.23 ERA. Markel has punched out an impressive 29.4% of Triple-A hitters, although the control inconsistency he showed in his big league time has also been present in the minors. He’s issued walks to 14.3% of batters faced in his Triple-A career, including a 17.8% walk percentage with the Padres’ top affiliate last season.
Strike-throwing woes notwithstanding, there’s no risk for the A’s in taking a look at Markel in Spring Training. He’ll add a live arm with a track record of missing bats to the organizational depth chart, and there aren’t many locks to be in Oakland’s season-opening bullpen. Deolis Guerra and Lou Trivino are the only relievers who threw 20+ innings in green and gold last year and remain on the roster. Trivino, in particular, looks like he could be a trade target for bullpen-needy clubs whenever the lockout comes to a close.