SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants have spent years trying to figure out how to put together a strong lineup at AT&T Park. They’ve drafted players who should fit the gaps, and last year they traded for two former All-Stars who were supposed to take advantage of the dimensions in left field, where the park can be a bit more fair if you pull it.
With one of their latest additions, they’re relying on a simple method. The staff is hopeful that Gerardo Parra can help jolt the lineup. Why? Well, he’s always liked hitting at Oracle Park.
Parra, who spent six seasons with the Diamondbacks and three with the Rockies, has played 63 games at Oracle Park and taken 203 at-bats. He has a .310 average there as a visitor.
“You don’t find that very often, do you?” manager Bruce Bochy said.
There’s more to this, of course. If the Giants were hellbent on adding players who like their park, they would have called A.J. Preller and offered to take on the rest of Wil Myers’ contract. Parra is a fit for a number of reasons.
He’ll add a veteran presence to an outfield crop that’s current leader in career plate appearances is Austin Slater with 325. Parra can also play all three outfield spots and is a strong defender in left. He’s 31 now but still has a strong arm.
“He gives us an experienced outfielder, a good defender, a good hitter with good makeup,” Bochy said. “I’ve seen a lot of him and he’s played very well against us. I think he’s going to add experience with this club, but also he’s a very talented player. He can play all three outfield positions. We’re glad to get this done.”
Bochy said Parra is primarily viewed as a left fielder, and the Giants are still relatively mysterious there. Mac Williamson is certainly deserving of a shot, but if a certain free agent right fielder chooses another organization, Williamson could end up as the starter in right.
Parra provides insurance in the corners, and he’s coming off a solid year, having posted a .342 on-base percentage for the Rockies last season, with six homers, 17 doubles, and 11 stolen bases. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Parra will earn $1.75 million if he makes the team, with bonuses for reaching a certain number of plate appearances.
The Giants have scooped up a number of veterans on similar deals late in the offseason, and Bochy is excited about what’s been added to his clubhouse. He spoke to Parra earlier in the week and said he’s ready to add another energetic player to the roster.
“You can tell he loves to play,” Bochy said. “We had a great conversation and he was excited about coming here, and we’re excited to have him.”