The Orioles need a leadoff hitter. They also need a right fielder. Their right fielder for the last two months of 2015, Gerardo Parra, is a free agent, but they don’t seem to have interest in him.
As the end of the 2015 season approached, conventional wisdom was that Parra had a decent chance of re-signing with the Orioles, but the Orioles certainly didn’t want to look at a three or four-year commitment to a player who had been merely decent for them.
The Orioles outbid the Nationals for Parra, and now the Nats are eagerly pursuing him. Parra reportedly has a number of teams including Colorado and Kansas City after him.
On July 31, the Orioles traded a promising young pitcher, Zach Davies to Milwaukee for Parra. At the time of the trade, Parra was having the best season of his career, batting .328 for the Brewers. He’d never been a .300 hitter in his previous six seasons.
In his first go-around in the American League, Parra hit just .237 in 55 games. He’d never hit lower than .261 in the majors.
Who can blame the Orioles for thinking they could improve on Parra?
Parra won two Gold Gloves in the National League, but some of his throws were questionable, and manager Buck Showalter was looking for someone with better than a .268 on-base percentage from a batter hitting second.
Right field in Oriole Park is a challenging position. That’s why Hyun Soo Kim is slated for left field.
Mark Trumbo could always play there. He started 70 games for Arizona and Seattle in right last year, but the Orioles would prefer to have him play first if Chris Davis doesn’t re-sign. He could also be the primary designated hitter.
Another free agent signing, big name or otherwise, is always possible.
Dariel Alvarez, L.J. Hoes, Nolan Reimold, Rule 5 draft pick Joey Rickard and Henry Urrutia are the other candidates on the 40-man roster. Alfredo Marte, who was signed to a minor league contract, will also get a look in spring training.
Then, there’s Jimmy Paredes, who played some right field in the Dominican Republic in November, though they may not be very pretty.
Parra is one of four remaining Orioles free agents, and he could now be the first of last year’s group to officially leave the team.
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