Could Manny Parra be a possibility for the Minnesota Twins?
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In the past few day we’ve presented Franklin Morales (here), Cesar Ramos (here) and Randy Choate (here) as potential fits with the Minnesota Twins. We’ve been exploring what cheap (ish) lefty relievers may still be available.
Morales and Ramos would be preferable options but Manny Parra has some upside and could be valuable for the Twins. We’d place Parra on the same tier as Choate. Parra has not been used a LOOGY like Choate has but Choate has been more consistent than Parra.
Parra put together a nice season in 2015. He had a 3.90 ERA, 3.07 FIP and 1.175 WHIP over 31.2 innings of work. He has a 4.01 ERA, 1.400 WHIP and a 9.2 K/9 over his career as a reliever.
Parra fared better against righties than lefties in 2015 but for his career as a reliever, he’s been much better against lefties than righties. Parra increased the frequency that he threw his fastball in 2015 by roughly 15%. That may have been the change that allowed him to be more effective against righties. He’s certainly more valuable if he’s able to sustain that success against opposite handed batters.
Parra does have a 9.2 K/9 as reliever and the Twins would love to have a reliever strike batters out with that frequency but Parra’s K/9 in 2015 was 6.4. Which version of Manny would the Twins be getting? 6.4 K/9 is by far the lowest of Parra’s career. It’s unlikely that it remains that low next season. Fangraphs and baseball-reference predict his K/9 will regress to about 8.
Parra balanced out his lower strikeout rate with, by far, his lowest walk rate of his career (1.7 BB/9).
Parra was worth 0.1 bWAR/0.4 fWAR and posted a 0.42 WPA.
Parra made $3.5 million in 2015. The fact that he only pitched 32.1 innings, his mediocre looking ERA in 2015, and his lack of a successful track record could lead to his price dropping. Parra may also have waited to long to take the plunge. The iron is no longer very hot as the bigger spending clubs have generally already made their moves.