There has been enough written this offseason about the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ outfield to fill up two copies of “War and Peace”. If it is not the Trade of the Day rumor with Justin Upton, it’s the will-they-won’t they deal with Jason Kubel. The Cody Ross signing further complicated the muddy waters. The forgotten man of this entire saga has been Gerardo Parra, the only one of this group to win a Gold Glove. Maybe that award doesn’t mean as much as it used to but I still thought Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson were looking for more defense. Parra is by far, their best defensive outfielder.
I understand that the Venezuela native is not your typical big bat in the outfield. However as he showed in 2011, he can be a good every day player on a winning team. He handles the bat well, can steal some bases and as previously mentioned is a tremendous asset in the field. I understand why the D’backs signed Kubel before last season and the move certainly paid off for the team. The Ross signing is still puzzling to me. Not only does it put Adam Eaton on the hot seat immediately, but it seems to me, the message from the organization to Parra is clear: that they don’t believe he is anything more than a fourth outfielder. At 25 years old, it is way too soon to make that determination about him. Had Eaton struggled the first six weeks or so, Parra is more than capable of holding down center field for the rest of the season. I am not sure Ross is that much of an upgrade over Parra. Most of his offensive numbers are better, but he just turned 32 and the D’backs already had good pop from the right side of the plate. Plus, he is six-and-half years older than Parra and costs plenty more than the Venezuelan.
I wouldn’t blame Gerardo Parra for being bitter about his situation. I hope he takes it out on opposing pitchers. If he does get traded or when his time for free agency comes up, I hope he goes some place where he is a little bit more appreciated. Then he can come back to Chase Field and put one in the seats to win a big game for his new team.
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