Blake Parker
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Angels non-tender Blake Parker

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Right-handed reliever Blake Parker has been non-tendered by the Angels, per an official report on Friday. The team also cut ties with oft-injured veteran starter Matt Shoemaker, who made just seven appearances in the majors during the 2018 season.

It’s an unexpected move coming from the Angels, who enjoyed a solid performance from the 33-year-old closer this past year. Coming off of a career-best run in 2017, Parker delivered 14 saves in 41 save opportunities with a 3.26 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, and 9.5 SO/9 through 66 1/3 innings.

This offseason, he was projected to earn something in the ballpark of $3 million through arbitration, a modest bump from the $1.8 million he took home in 2018. Although he shaved a couple miles off of his fastball and failed to reach the 80-strikeout threshold of years past, the righty has been consistent and dominant enough that he should have no issue latching onto another major-league deal in the months to come.

Bryce Harper is on paternity leave

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Several years ago, Bryce Harper made news when it was revealed that he thought the word “meme” was pronounced “may-may.” That may be my favorite Bryce Harper moment ever.

As it was announced by the Phillies a little while ago that Harper has been placed on paternity leave, I’m wondering if he pronounces the word “baby” “bébé.”

I wouldn’t think less of him if he did, actually. One of my favorite people in the world does that.

Anyway, congratulations to Bryce Harper on becoming a dad. And it’s good news not just for him but for the Phillies and their fans as well. Why? Because as Bill noted earlier this week, Harper seems to hit better when he’s being taunted and mocked. For now that’s not very important, as the child won’t be talking for some time. As a father of teenagers, I can tell you that eventually the little monsters live to disrespect their dear old dads. If Harper’s current motivational patterns hold, by the time that kid is ten Harper will be winning the dang Triple Crown every year.

But again, congratulations to the Harpers.