The Washington Nationals are interested in Arizona Diamondbacks OF Gerardo Parra, according to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo was the scouting director with the Diamondbacks when Parra signed with the team in 2004.
Parra is just 24 years old and under team control through the 2015 season. He is eligible for arbitration after this season. In his three seasons with the Diamondbacks big-league club, Parra posted an average of .282/.331/.403, with his best season coming last year, when he posted a .292/.357/.427 line. They’re impressive numbers coming from an outfielder who won the NL Gold Glove last season, and is currently the fourth outfielder on the DBacks depth chart. Parra has experience in all three outfield positions, and his defensive prowess and high on-base percentage could prove valuable for the Nationals as they continue their search from a center fielder and lead off man.
It’s not clear that Parra would be the long term solution in center field, especially if Bryce Harper joins the Nationals at some point early this season with Jayson Werth and Michael Morse guaranteed spots. However, he showed significant value with the Diamondbacks last season starting 124 games, and he could be a valuable bench player down the line. It would be interesting to see where Rizzo expects Parra to fit into an extremely interesting outfield situation.