Blake Parker was one of, if not THE, best surprises of the Halos’ 2017 season. The 32-year-old righty was an after thought heading into last year, and rightfully so. Here was a guy who had been claimed off of waivers THREE times in the span of a few months, and who had been chipping away at the MLB dream for ten years but had never had that big breakout. Billy Eppler saw something in Parker, though, and while other teams were afraid to commit to him, he brought the unproven arm into the Angels’ bullpen fold.
The results of this move were astounding; this guy that was literally living out of an RV with his wife and step-son, while most fans and commentators had no clue who he was or where he came from, became an absolute beast of a relief pitcher. He finished the year with a 2.54 ERA, striking out 86 poor, unsuspecting batters and only walking 16, all in 67.3 innings pitched.
Parker cemented his place as the king of the Angels bullpen hill, and now, in his first year of being eligible for arbitration, the guy who was mowing down opposing hitters at will while just making a tad above the league minimum is now going to get a sweet, well-earned payday.
Blake Parker settles with Angels at $1.8M, avoiding arbitration— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 11, 2018
Good for Blake Parker. He quickly became a favorite around these parts, and we’re all stoked to see what he’s got in store for us in 2018. Hopefully he keeps the RV, though. That thing was pretty sweet. Of course, Parker and his wife welcomed a new baby into their family last month, so I’m not going to blame them for getting into something more spacious.
For those keeping score at home, the Angels have now settled with Andrew Heaney and Blake Parker, but there are a bunch more arbitration-eligible Halos left to deal with. Stay tuned.