Arbitration stinks. Player and Management submit differing salary numbers. If it gets far enough that a hearing is needed, then player gets to hear management belittle why said player is not worth what he is asking. The Arizona Diamondbacks have done a tremendous job of avoiding these hearings over the years as their last one came in 2001 with Damian Miller. Right now, three D’backs’ have filed for arbitration: Mark Trumbo, Joe Thatcher and Gerardo Parra (Josh Collmenter signed a two year contract right after filing). Hopefully, the other three players reach an agreement with the club before next month. One lingering question is on the minds of many people?
Should the D’backs give Parra a long term deal?
The 26-year old outfielder is a fan favorite. He won his second Gold Glove last season and was named as Wilson’s Defensive Player of the Year in the National League. His cannon arm helped him set a club record for assists with 17 , good enough to lead the Senior Circuit. Parra’s 41 Defensive Runs Saved (tied with Atlanta Braves‘ shortstop Andrelton Simmons ) was the Majors’ best in that category. He was the D’back offense not named Paul Goldschmidt for the first half of 2013. However, I suspect there is this lingering feeling from fans that the organization is not fully 100% behind Parra. He does not possess your typical, corner outfielder power nor does he drive in runs like many players at the position. They also see last season’s signing of Cody Ross as proof that Parra wouldn’t get the necessary at-bats to be a full-time player.
While I can see where people draw conclusions, I don’t think that is the case. We all know how much this club loves versatility and there is not outfielder that fits the bill better than Gerardo Parra. Ross needs some time in right field? Parra can move to center. Is there a tough righty that maybe Trumbo has trouble with? Gerardo moves to left. Kirk Gibson‘s job becomes easier when the D’backs play in American League parks. As far as not enough AB’s go, he played in 156 games with 601 at-bats. That sounds like a full-time guy to me.
Now, am I suggesting a long, financial commitment? Not at all. A fair contract would buy out Parra’s remaining arbitration years plus a year of free agency. That would be a three year contract in the neighborhood of $30 to $33 million dollars. It shows the team is willing to invest a significant amount of money to an excellent player. I don’t need a lot of pop out of my right fielder. Parra’s defense and a 12 homer, 65 RBI, .280/.345/.435 line would be just fine for me.