CINCINNATI -- A significant piece of the Reds bullpen has decided to return. On Wednesday, free-agent lefty reliever Manny Parra was signed to a two-year, $5.5 million contract, MLB.com has learned.
Parra, who has already passed his physical, will earn $2 million in 2014 and $3.5 million in 2015. The Reds have yet to announce a signing and will need to make a corresponding move to make room for Parra on the 40-man roster.
Signed last winter as a free agent, Parra was 2-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 57 games. The 31-year-old walked 15 and struck out 56 in 46 innings.
It was a rough beginning of 2013 for Parra, who had an 8.10 ERA through his first six appearances before going on the disabled list with a strained left pectoral muscle.
Over his final 45 games from June 11, Parra had a 1.78 ERA and enjoyed career-high scoreless streaks of 19 appearances and 15 1/3 innings during that stretch as he filled in for an injured Sean Marshall. Parra stranded 25 of his 30 inherited runners and held left-handed hitters to a .167 batting average.
Parra credited then-pitching coach Bryan Price for helping him with his turnaround as Price and assistant pitching coach Mack Jenkins developed his slider. Price is now the Reds' manager.
Cincinnati's bullpen will again have Parra and Marshall from the left side in the middle to late innings.
The Reds have been busy on the free-agent market this month. They have also signed catcher Brayan Pena and utility player Skip Schumaker to two-year contracts in November.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.