Phillies inexpensively add a reliever with closer and setup experience in Blake Parker


Updated: 5:40 p.m.

The Phillies on Tuesday picked up a reliever with experience closing and setting up in Blake Parker, signing him to a major-league deal. Edgar Garcia was sent to Triple A to make room.

Parker had 10 saves for the Twins earlier this season before being designated for assignment six days ago. He chose an outright release over an assignment to Triple A because he likely knew another team would come calling. 

The 34-year-old also had 14 saves with the Angels last season. In 175 appearances over the last three seasons, Parker has a 3.18 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP and 190 strikeouts in 170 innings. 

He is not a top-tier closer or setup man — he wouldn’t have been let go for nothing if he was — but Parker is every bit as effective as a reliever like Tommy Hunter, who was recently lost for the season to elbow surgery. 

Considering the Phillies were down to maybe Hector Neris and Nick Pivetta in terms of reliable right-handed relief options late in games, this was a move that needed to be made and it didn’t cost them any prospects. 

Neris has gotten back on track with four strong, scoreless outings, but he too had shown recent signs of slippage, allowing 13 runs in 12 innings from June 14 to July 18 as his splitter had begun to flatten out. If Neris struggles again, Parker (and/or Pivetta) could provide insurance in the role.

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