The outfield market is beginning to thaw out. Another free agent outfielder is officially off the board as veteran outfielder Gerardo Parra has agreed to a three-year, $27.5 million deal with the Colorado Rockies with a fourth-year option worth $12MM and a $1.5MM buyout as reported by Wilmer Reina of Diario la Verdad.
Parra was one of the top free agent outfielders on the market this offseason. While he does not possess the power of fellow free agents Justin Upton or Yoenis Cespedes ,he does possess defensive versatility, and is capable of playing all three outfield positions. Parra is a solid hitter to put at the top of the lineup with impressive contact ability. He began last season with the Milwaukee Brewers and posted a sizzling .328/.369/.517 for the first half of the season. He was flipped to the Baltimore Orioles in a deadline deal as Baltimore was looking for a significant upgrade in its outfield. He didn’t have quite the same success in Baltimore, hitting only .237/.268/.357. He finished the year with an overall .291/.328/.452 batting line with a 14 home runs. Due to being traded midseason, Parra was not eligible to be tendered a qualifying offer so the Rockies will not have to surrender a draft pick by signing him. Parra has accumulated 194 career plate appearances at the hitter-friendly Coors Field and has slashed .283/.344/.382 with 17 doubles over his lifetime in that park. If he is able to replicate those numbers, he should see an immediate boost in his offensive production for the Rockies.
With Parra in the fold, the Rockies have a logjam of outfielders on their roster. They were already set going into next season with an outfield consisting of Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez and Corey Dickerson. By signing Parra they now have a surplus of left-handed hitting outfielders thus creating a demand. They are most likely to dangle either Blackmon or Gonzalez in trade discussions and will undoubtedly trade one of the two in exchange for starting pitching. Potential trade partners look to be the Los Angeles Angels, Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles.