Tigers re-sign Parnell to minor-league contract
Two days after the Tigers released Bobby Parnell, the right-handed reliever was back in the clubhouse at Joker Marchant Stadium. The team announced Wednesday it has re-signed the former Mets closer to a minor-league contract.
Parnell was seen boarding the team bus to Sarasota for Wednesday night’s game against the Orioles. Though he’s expected to open the season pitching at Triple-A Toledo, his return gives the Tigers a potentially critical addition as the season goes on.
The Tigers signed Parnell to a minor-league deal with a non-roster invite as camp began last month, hoping to see a pickup in arm strength in his second season back from arm troubles. Parnell gave up nine runs on 15 hits over 9 1/3 innings with eight walks and eight strikeouts, but five of those runs and five hits came in one-third of an inning against the Blue Jays last Tuesday. His stuff improved as camp went along, including a fastball that registered at 96 mph on the Joker Marchant Stadium during a scoreless inning with two strikeouts Sunday against the Astros.
Parnell had enough Major League service time to qualify for an opt-out and a retention bonus, forcing the Tigers to either add him to the Major League roster by Tuesday or offer him $100,000 to stick around. Detroit released him ahead of the deadline Monday afternoon, but hoped all along to bring him back if no big-league opportunities were available for him elsewhere.
The Tigers are hoping for a similar decision from infielder Casey McGehee, who was released Tuesday under similar conditions but could return on a minor-league deal. The veteran was believed to be weighing his options as of Wednesday afternoon.