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Yankees Free Agent Target: Manny Parra

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Joe Robbins

Left-handed starter turned left-handed reliever, Manny Parra could be very valuable for the Yankees in 2014. After three seasons as a full-time starter between 2008 and 2010, Parra had already gone through shoulder, hip and Tommy John surgery. As a starter he had a 5.44 ERA and 4.56 FIP over 392.1 innings. If that was it, I'd say he offered nothing for the Yankees going forward, but luckily he has revitalized his career since moving to the bullpen.

He returned to the majors in 2012 for the Brewers as a member of their bullpen and proved to be a useful weapon against lefties. In 28.2 innings he maintained a 2.82 FIP with a 3.77 BB/9 and a great 10.36 K/9 against them. In 2013, this time with the Reds, Parra had a 2.46 FIP, 3.0 BB/9, and 12.0 K/9 against lefties in 24 innings pitched.

Over his career, he has struck out left-handed batters at a rate of 11.15 batters per nine innings, while he's only managed a 7.65 K/9 rate against righties. Though he has a 4.46 BB/9 in his career, he did manage a 2.93 walk rate last season, so there's reason to believe he can improve his career rates as he adjusts to the bullpen. He's also kept lefties to a very good 51.9% ground ball rate, making him great to bring in against a lefty with men on base. He could be a perfect candidate to become a full-time LOOGY for the Yankees.

Seeing as how he has yet to be used as a full-time lefty specialist, it might be difficult to convince him to take on such a limited role if the money is similar elsewhere. An incentive-laden deal at around the $1 million he made in 2013 could be all that's needed to lock down a contender to be the next Yankee LOOGY. Between Cesar Cabral and Francisco Rondon being the only internal options at the moment, Parra would probably be the favorite for the job. If the Yankees want to avoid giving Javier Lopez a multi-year deal and don't trust Boone Logan post-elbow surgery, Parra might be a surprisingly great signing.

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