Brewers acquire OF Parra from Arizona
Gerardo Parra did not immediately know where he would fit into the Brewers’ outfield mix after the team swing a trade for him Thursday, but he knew one thing.
“They play hard and they play happy,” Parra said in a telephone conversation minutes after the trade. “I love that.”
The Brewers love his defense at all three outfield positions and his left-handed bat, so they parted with a pair of Minor League prospects to pry Parra from the D-backs on Thursday, about two hours before the nonwaiver Trade Deadline. Heading to Arizona is Double-A Huntsville outfielder Mitch Haniger, who was No. 8 on MLB.com’s list of the top Brewers prospects, plus 20-year-old left-hander Anthony Banda, who was drafted by the D-backs in 2011 but did not sign. The Brewers took him in the 10th round of the Draft the following season.
Parra was scheduled to travel to St. Louis on Friday in time for the Brewers’ series opener at Busch Stadium. Assuming he arrives in time the Brewers will option outfielder Logan Schafer to Triple-A Nashville to create roster room.
Parra, 27, is batting .259 with six home runs and 30 RBIs in 104 games this season and has one more year of arbitration eligibility remaining after this season. He has started mostly in right field this year, but with Ryan Braun a fixture there and Carlos Gomez entrenched in center field, Parra figures to split time with young Brewers left fielder Khris Davis, who is in his first full Major League season. He can also provide insurance against injuries for Gomez, who has battled a back issue of late, and Braun, who has managed thumb, back and ribcage ailments at various times this year.
“The addition of Parra gives us a veteran player who helps to balance our lineup and also brings Gold Glove defense,” Brewers GM Doug Melvin said in announcing the deal.
Parra has won National League Gold Glove Awards in both left field (2011) and right (2013). His 62 outfield assists since 2009 are tied for second in the Major Leagues, trailing only the Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista’s 63.
He will be greeted by a couple of familiar faces on Friday. Parra is friends with Brewers closer and fellow Venezuelan Francisco Rodriguez, and was teammates with Mark Reynolds in Arizona in 2009 and 2010.
“It’s a new part of my life, and I say thank you to the Milwaukee Brewers for giving me this new opportunity to try to make the playoffs and play on a team in first place,” he said. “I heard something [about a potential trade]. I know baseball. But you don’t think anything until it happens.”
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