Robert B. Parker is far too protean and prolific a writer to be confined to his Spenser bestsellers, and his agent, Helen Brann, reports that his latest signing is for an untitled novel centering on baseball great Jackie Robinson and his relationship with his white manager. The deal, a major six-figure one for hard/soft U.S. rights, was made with Putnam's Phyllis Grann just before she announced her impending departure, along with Chris Pepe, who has been working more and more closely with Parker and will take over as his editor when Grann leaves at the end of the year. CAA, which is handling movie rights on the Coast, reports strong interest in Parker's outline. Publication will probably be in 2003.