The White Sox announced they’ve claimed reliever Parker Markel off waivers from the Athletics and optioned him to Triple-A Charlotte. Chicago already had a 40-man roster vacancy, so no additional move was necessary.
Oakland designated Markel for assignment this week, ending his tenure in the organization after just three big league appearances. The 31-year-old walked five batters in only three innings during that time, a continuation of some longstanding control issues. He walked an elevated 12.7% of batters faced across 19 innings with Triple-A Las Vegas prior to his call-up, and he struggled to throw strikes during his only previous MLB action back in 2019.
That said, Markel has also flashed promising swing-and-miss stuff. He’s punched out an excellent 35.4% of opponents in Triple-A this season, and he fanned batters at a nearly identical rate last year in Triple-A with the Padres. Markel averaged 95 MPH with above-average raw spin on his fastball during his brief big league look in Oakland, and his low-80s slider has promising two-plane movement.
The fastball-slider pairing has flummoxed many hitters in the upper minors, and the Sox will take a low-risk shot to add some bullpen depth. Markel still has a pair of option years remaining, so the White Sox can shuttle him between Chicago and Charlotte for each of the next two seasons if he retains his spot on the 40-man roster.