One free agent who is currently flying under the radar is Gerardo Parra who last played for the Baltimore Orioles. But there’s been numbers reports about the Kansas City Royals keeping their eyes on him, while the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals are also interested.
Parra, 28, was traded late last season by the Milwaukee Brewers to the Orioles. He didn’t hit well in Baltimore (just .237) but overall finished 2015 with a career high 14 home runs while batting .291, mostly attributed to the 100 games he played for the Brewers. Parra has been with the Arizona Diamondbacks for most of his career (2009-2014) before getting traded to Milwaukee in 2014. He isn’t much of a power hitter (311 career home runs, only .404 SLG) but he bats .277 and plays excellent defense all over the outfield.
The Royals are keeping him on their shortlist in case Alex Gordon doesn’t re-sign for them. Parra is a cheaper option, and younger. He made $6.2 million last season, and isn’t likely to ask for more than $10-12 million a season, probably on a four-year deal. That’s a lot more affordable to anyone compared to the $20 million a season (or more) Gordon is asking for.
But the interest in Parra, from the Royals and the other teams, hinges on what happens with other players on the market: First of all Chris Davis, with the Orioles waiting for him to decide. Then the domino pieces will fall – Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton and also Gordon, keeping not just their most recent teams on hold, but everyone else who is still looking to sign a power hitter or quality outfielder.
The Orioles obviously would like to re-sign him, but again, it’s all about waiting for Davis, because if he re-signs with the team, it might take up too much of the budget to add anyone else. It seems like about half the contenders in the league, including the Giants, Angels and Nationals, are all waiting for some clarity in the market and especially when it comes to outfielders. Parra might not be the number one player on anyone’s list except for the Royals, but the moment things start moving, the offers will be swarming in his direction.