Pirates trade Markel to Angels for cash

The Pirates traded right-handed relief pitcher Parker Markel to the Angels Thursday for cash considerations.

Markel was claimed by the Pirates from the Mariners on July 27 and split time between the majors and Triple-A for both clubs. He pitched to a 7.77 ERA in 20 major league innings. The 29-year-old did much better in Triple-A, where he finished with a 1.74 ERA, 0.992 WHIP and 75 strikeouts in 41.1 IP.

2019 was Markel's first year in the majors. He had two short stops in Seattle before being designated for assignment on July 23.

It was a happy end to a journey to the majors that included stops in Korea and independent ball. In 2018, he was struck in the head by a line drive while pitching batting practice during the first day of spring training for the Sioux City Explorers of the independent American Association league. The impact ruptured his right eardrum and caused a concussion.

When he returned from the injury, Markel discovered a new slider grip that gave the pitch added life. His breaking ball ranked near the very best in baseball in spin rate and horizontal movement. It is safe to assume that spin was a factor for why the Angels would want him on their 40-man roster.

The Pirates now have 46 players on their active roster, including those on the 60-day injury list. While three of those spots will be cleared now that Melky Cabrera, Francisco Liriano and Lonnie Chisenhall are free agents, they need to remove at least three more players by Nov. 4.

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