Parnell, 32, opted out of his minor-league deal with the Royals over the weekend after posting a 4.71 ERA and 7.3 K/9 in 21 innings for Kansas City’s Triple-A affiliate in Omaha. He signed a minor-league deal with the Royals in mid-December, but failed to make the team out of spring training and spent the season’s first two months of the minors.
Parnell joins relief prospects Zack Burdi and Carson Fulmer in Charlotte, providing a veteran presence to a roster filled with Chicago’s young stars. It’s unclear if his new deal includes another opt-out date for later this season.
Parnell, of course, is best known for his time with the Mets, with whom he logged a 3.78 ERA and and saved 37 games over an 8-year run. He has not been the same since Tommy John surgery in early 2014, bouncing from the Mets to the Tigers and struggling to a 6.75 ERA in 5.1 innings with Detroit last year.