MLB Trade Rumors posted a link from Jerry Crasnick saying the Diamondbacks are actively shopping Geraldo Parra.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 30, 2014
If the trade rumor fits. . .
Parra’s having a down year for the snakes (.256/.301/.360/.661, 6 homers, 16 doubles and 3 triples) but over the years he’s been a thorn in the Braves uh. . . bench. In his 30 games against Atlanta his unexciting .289/.341/.404/.745 line includes 2 homers, 2 triples and 3 doubles and 15 RBI. Those numbers aren’t eye popping but he drove in runs in some critical spots against the Braves. Aside from his bat, the left handed hitting outfielder offers something others being mentioned do not; gold glove defense. Here’s a blind comparison of Parra with another right fielder; numbers and short definitions from Fangraphs.
rARM – Outfield Arm Runs Saved runs above average (OF) (Fielding Bible)
DRS – Total Defensive Runs Saved runs above average (Fielding Bible)
OOZ – Plays Made Out of Zone
Arm – Outfield Arm runs above average (UZR)
RngR – Range runs above average (UZR)
ErrR – Error runs above average (UZR)
UZR – Ultimate Zone Rating in runs above average (Arm+DPR+RngR+ErrR)
UZR/150 – UZR runs above average per 150 Defensive Games
Notice the DRS number and remember all the discussion about Andrelton Simmons’ play and the way DRS reflected the quality of his defense.
Player B? – Jason Heyward 2014. Yep Parra’s glove defense in 2013 was on a par with Heyward’s and his arm was as good or better.
His defensive numbers dropped off this year and that’s a hard one to explain. There’s no information on injury so it might just be how he feels about where he is that’s affecting his play. He’s not a 5 WAR player or a 26 UZR RF but he should still be a 3 UZR, 1.5 WAR player. As well as having a solid glove he’s fast enough to play all three outfield positions well.
Parra is currently in his second arbitration year with just over $2.3M remaining on his contract and under team control through 2015 making him both affordable and controllable.
What would it take
The Diamondbacks are in a state of flux and Tony La Russa is the X factor in this deal. The owner brought La Russa in to right the ship so the guy who wanted Justin out of town has stepped back, otherwise La Russa wouldn’t be there. The Snakes traded away pitching prospects for Mark Trumbo and would undoubtedly want at least one in return and Steve Gilbert from MLB.Com just tweeted to back up that supposition.
#Dbacks GM Kevin Towers says his team’s focus is: starting pitching, catching and outfield in that order.
— Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) July 30, 2014
While Parra was a 5.5 rWAR player last year his numbers are replacement level now so they would be selling low. If we were to package Jordan Schafer (as a warm body to replace Parra on their bench) and Aaron Northcraft with a player like Ian Thomas it might be enough to bring Parra, Oliver Perez and a PTBNL to Atlanta thereby filling both of our needs at one time and making Towers happy too.
That’s a Wrap
Trade rumors are often 99% rumor and 1% actual trade and the decision to shop Parra is an odd one given their announced desire for outfielders; perhaps Parra ran out of grit? Nevertheless this trade rumor seems to fit the Braves both monetarily and positionally. I commented elsewhere today that to replace Schafer on the bench would require a player capable of playing all three outfield spots and fast enough to use as a runner if needed. Parra isn’t a base stealer but he is fast and a better defender as well as a bigger threat at the plate. I’m not a great fan of any version of Perez and while I’d prefer Antonio Bastardo, Tony Sipp and others, Perez probably works as long as Chasen Shreve keeps improving. Parra would benefit from a move out of the dysfunction in Phoenix and be a useful piece down the stretch.