Gerardo Parra Rumors

Diamondbacks, Gerardo Parra Avoid Arbitration

The Diamondbacks and outfielder Gerardo Parra have sidestepped an arbitration hearing by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $4.85MM, according to the Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro (on Twitter). Parra is a client of Relativity Baseball (formerly known as SFX).

Parra and the D-Backs exchanged arb figures back in January, with Parra asking for a $5.2MM salary and the club countering with a $4.3MM figure. Parra's $4.85MM guarantee is $100K north of the $4.75MM midpoint between the two figures. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected the defensive wizard to earn $4.2MM this offseason.

The 26-year-old Parra batted .268/.323/.403 with 10 homers and 10 stolen bases (in an unsightly 20 attempts) for the Diamondbacks in 2013. Though his stolen base efficiency left something to be desired, Parra cut his strikeout rate to a career-low 15.2 percent and played some of the best outfield defense in all of Major League Baseball. Parra appeared at all three outfield positions, and UZR/150 valued his defense at a sky-high +29.5 runs. The Fielding Bible's Defensive Runs Saved metric pegged Parra for a ridiculous +41 runs, essentially making him the outfield equivalent of Andrelton Simmons. The oustanding defense is reflected in his Wins Above Replacement totals, as despite a roughly league-average season with the bat, Baseball-Reference pegged him at 6.1 WAR while Fangraphs valued him at 4.6 WAR.

With Parra's case now resolved, Mark Trumbo is the only remaining Diamondbacks player who has not yet agreed to a 2014 salary, as can be seen in MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker.


Arbitration Filing Numbers

MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker is the place to go to see the arbitration contracts agreed upon thus far, as well as the figures exchanged between teams and players that were not able to reach agreement before today's noon deadline to swap salary positions. Matt Swartz's arbitration projections are available here.

As MLBTR has previously explained, 146 players officially filed for arbitration (after some eligible and tendered players had alread reached agreement). Of those, 40 players will exchange figures with their clubs. Of course, those players can still reach agreements before their hearings (which will take place betwee February 1st and 21st). If the case goes to a hearing, the arbitrator must choose one side's figures, rather than settling on a midpoint.

For the Braves players listed below, however, Atlanta says it will cease negotiations and take all cases to a hearing. Two other teams that have swapped figures with some players — the Nationals and Indians — also have employed variations of the "file and trial" approach with their arbitration cases.

Though a tweet from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal indicates that the Reds have joined the list of teams employing "file and trial," GM Walt Jocketty did not seem to echo that position in comments today to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. It turns out that the team has only taken that position with respect to players whose deals were valued under the $2MM level, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

We will use this post to keep tabs on the the highest-stakes arbitration situations remaining — those where the player files for at least $4.5MM:


D-Backs Could Look To Extend Parra, Ziegler

The Diamondbacks are expected to pursue long-term deals for both Gerardo Parra and Brad Ziegler this offseason, writes Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona.

Interest in an extension for Parra was actually first noted by Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic last week. General manager Kevin Towers offered high praise for Parra's glove to both reporters, noting that Parra is the type of player who can win games with his glove and throwing arm alone. Towers said to Piecoro that he feels Parra profiles better as a center fielder from an offensive standpoint, though he's a better defender on the outfield corners.

Towers voiced his pleasure with Ziegler to Magruder, praising his right-hander for pitching well in any situation:

"He's pitched well. He's pitched well since he's been here, in lot of different roles," Towers said. "When he comes in a ballgame, I feel pretty confident, whether it is the seventh, eighth or ninth."

Parra is earning $2.35MM this season and is under team control through 2015 as an arbitration eligible player. Ziegler, who was acquired from the A's for Brandon Allen and Jordan Norberto in July 2011, is earning $3.15MM this season and is eligible for free agency following the 2014 campaign.

Towers' comments on Parra's glove appear to be spot on, as UZR/150 pegs him at a sky-high +29.4 runs, and The Fielding Bible estimates that he's saved 38 runs on defense alone in 2013. At the plate, he's delivered a .266/.322/.401 slash line that checks in just below league average (98 OPS+).

As for Ziegler, he's turned in a 2.26 ERA in 67 2/3 innings. And, while his 5.1 K/9 is low, he mitigates that with a 2.8 BB/9 rate and a whopping 70.3 percent ground-ball rate that checks in as the highest among pitchers who have thrown at least 20 innings this season.

Parra told Magruder that he "loves" playing in Arizona but doesn't want to listen to contract offers until after the season and is focused on finishing strong. Ziegler simply said he wants to pitch for a winning team, regardless of what inning he's entering the game: "I want to be on a winning team, and whatever I can do to help the team win, you are never going to find me complaining about my role on the team."



Diamondbacks, Parra Avoid Arbitration

We'll track the day's arbitration agreements under $3MM right here. Be sure to check out MLBTR's Arbitration Basics for a primer on the process. Now for today's signings…

  • The Diamondbacks announced that they have avoided arbitration with outfielder Gerardo Parra, agreeing to a one-year contract for 2013. The deal is worth $2.35MM, a source tells Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona (on Twitter). Parra, a 25-year-old SFX client, was arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason with a projected $2.1MM salary. He remains under team control through 2015. As MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows, the Diamondbacks have now avoided arbitration with all of their eligible players.

Diamondbacks Considering Trading Kubel Or Parra

The Diamondbacks are weighing whether Jason Kubel or Gerardo Parra is a better fit as their everyday left fielder in 2012, GM Kevin Towers tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.  The Snakes are also looking for help at shortstop and third base this winter, and Towers said those decisions will affect the direction that Arizona takes in left field.

"When you put a club together, it’s more of a puzzle,” Towers said. “What you do at short and third maybe changes what your need is in left. If you get more offense on the corner, then maybe there’s more of a premium for the defender in left. If you don’t get the offense and you get the defense in the infield, you have to have your power somewhere."

Piecoro projects the 2013 D'Backs outfield as Justin Upton remaining with the team and playing right field, Adam Eaton playing center, and one of Kubel or Parra in left, leaving A.J. Pollock as the fourth outfielder.  The loser of the Kubel/Parra decision would become expendable along with Chris Young, who has already been rumored to be on the trading block.  Young is owed $8.5MM in 2013 and his $11MM option for 2014 carries a $1.5MM buyout, and Piecoro reports that the D'Backs expect to eat some of that money in any Young trade.

Kubel signed a two-year, $15MM deal with Arizona last December and he hit 30 homers with a .253/.328/.506 batting line in 2012, though he slumped in the second half of the season, posting just a .745 OPS after the All-Star break.  Parra posted a .727 OPS in 430 plate appearances last year and provided his usual excellent glovework, recording a +13.8 UZR/150 rating.  It's a clear choice between hitting and defense for the Snakes, though contracts also play a role — while Kubel will earn $7.5MM next year, Parra is arb-eligible for the second time this winter and is under control through 2015 as a Super Two player.

Towers mentioned how defense was an important factor at Chase Field and that he wanted the team to be less reliant on home runs, leaving Piecoro to speculate that this could mean the D'Backs could move away from Kubel in left and Chris Johnson at third base.

In other team news, Piecoro hears that Trevor Bauer isn't likely to be traded.  D'Backs managing general partner Ken Kendrick sounded critical of Bauer last week, leading to some speculation that the team had soured on the highly-touted 21-year-old.  If Arizona actually did make Bauer available, the 2011 third overall pick would instantly become one of the biggest trade chips on the market this offseason.


Olney On Young, Upton, Diamondbacks

The chances of Justin Upton, Chris Young, Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra and Adam Eaton returning to the Diamondbacks’ outfield in 2013 seem slim, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes. One or more of those players will likely be moved in trades. Here are the details on Arizona’s offseason plans…

  • Rival executives believe the Diamondbacks will trade Young this offseason. Some say they expected Arizona to let Young go on waivers if he had been claimed last month. The center fielder will earn $8.5MM in 2013 and his contract includes a 2014 option with a $1.5MM buyout.
  • Some rival executives sense that GM Kevin Towers is less likely to trade Upton this winter than he has been in the past. There’s no guarantee teams will meet Arizona’s asking price for Upton and there’s concern that the right fielder would blossom as a hitter if he’s traded elsewhere.
  • Despite the Diamondbacks’ impressive core of young pitching, Towers would like to add a veteran starting pitcher this offseason, Olney reports.

NL West Notes: Montero, Parra, Giants, Kasten

It was on this day in 1983 that the Dodgers, after selling 27,000 season tickets, cut off season ticket sales for the upcoming season out of a desire to leave large quantities of seats available for walkup and group sales.  The club could be on the way to rekindling this popularity in Los Angeles, as tickets are selling fast with the news that the Magic Johnson/Stan Kasten group has bought the team.

Some items from the Dodgers and elsewhere in the NL West…

  • Miguel Montero is looking for a contract akin to Victor Martinez's four-year, $50MM deal with the Tigers, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  Montero is entering the last year of his contract with the Diamondbacks and Heyman believes that the Snakes will have trouble re-signing the catcher at his desired price.  While Yadier Molina's extension with the Cardinals raised the bar for catcher contracts, I think Montero needs one more big season to prove himself worth of a Martinez-esque deal.  The D'Backs could also use V-Mart as a reverse example, pointing to his season-ending ACL injury as an example of why a catcher's health is tenuous (thought Martinez had mostly transitioned to a DH spot in Detroit) and why they'd be hesitant to make such a commitment to Montero.
  • Montero wouldn't confirm his contract demands to Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona and said he "can’t really think about" potentially giving the Diamondbacks a hometown discount "right now" since he's focused on the upcoming season.
  • The Diamondbacks are still getting trade inquiries about Gerardo Parra but the team isn't going to move the Gold Glover, tweets MLB.com's Steve Gilbert.  Arizona GM Kevin Towers describes the trade market as "pretty quiet."
  • Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle looks at the details of the Giants' TV contract, which runs through the 2032 season.
  • In case you missed it earlier today, Giants CEO Larry Baer commented on the negotiations between the team and pending free agent Matt Cain.
  • In an interview with Chris Russo of Mad Dog Radio on SiriusXM, Stan Kasten dismissed criticism that his group overpaid for the Dodgers and thought they met "the market value" for the team.  Kasten did say that Mark Walter, the chief executive of Guggenheim Partners, views the Dodgers as "a gold standard asset that you just cannot acquire….there are values there that just transcend conventional return on investment metrics."
  • Kasten has heard "generally favorable" impressions about Dodgers GM Ned Colletti and manager Don Mattingly and isn't planning to make any management changes, "but you don’t know anything until you work with people."
  • Kasten said that the team will look into renovating, not replacing, Dodger Stadium.  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, however, speculates that the Dodgers could build a new ballpark in downtown Los Angeles and sell the Chavez Ravine land to a group looking to build a stadium for a new NFL team for L.A.

NL East Notes: Pelfrey, Parra, Nats, Valdez, Phillies

On this date last year the Mets released Oliver Perez with one year and $12MM remaining on his contract. Perez, now a member of the Mariners organization, hasn't appeared in the Major Leagues since. Here are some links from his former division…

  • After talking to a Mets official, "it doesn't seem" like the team has talked about cutting Mike Pelfrey, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter link).  However, the Mets are "well aware of the fact" that Pelfrey's contract is non-guaranteed and, if the right-hander is cut, the Mets will only have to pay a portion of his $5.68MM salary.  Pelfrey has had a very rough Spring Training, posting a 14.90 ERA in 9 2/3 innings of work.
  • The Diamondbacks aren't going to trade Gerardo Parra to the Nationals, a D'Backs source tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter).
  • The Phillies are looking for infield help but it's "doubtful" they would try to re-acquire Wilson Valdez, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  The Phils dealt Valdez to the Reds in January since the Phillies felt they were already set for utility infield options — somewhat ironic given their current position.
  • David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News argues that the Phillies need to add a veteran infielder give the questionable health of their projected starters. Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Placido Polanco and Michael Martinez are all currently dealing with injuries.
  • ESPN.com’s Buster Olney gets the sense that the Braves’ on-field personnel prefer Andrelton Simmons for the starting shortstop job, while the front office favors Tyler Pastornicky. Such divergences of opinion are common and not necessarily problematic, as Olney notes.
  • Olney hears from talent evaluators who say Jair Jurrjens has struggled to command his fastball and that Jason Heyward is "still thinking about his mechanics" at the plate.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post


Latest On Gerardo Parra

The Nationals remain interested in Diamondbacks outfielder Gerardo Parra, but word is that Arizona is asking a lot for him, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.  Meanwhile, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson tweets that the D’Backs have told the Nationals that Parra is not available.

Arizona GM Kevin Towers told reporters early last week that he doesn’t want to trade Parra, but this is the first we have heard of the club telling the Nats that he is not up for discussion.  A baseball source told Ladson that he believes the Nationals will now turn to an in-house option in center field to open the season.


NL West Notes: Dodgers Ownership, Moorad, D’Backs

The Giants were the first NL West team up in MLBTR's 2011-12 Offseason In Review series.  Tim Dierkes examined the Giants' winter moves earlier today as we continue to review every club's offseason in the weeks leading up to Opening Day.

Here's the latest from the NL West…

  • Steve Cohen may be the favorite to take ownership of the Dodgers, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  Cohen and fellow bidder Stan Kroenke are the richest of the four remaining ownership groups bidding for the team, though Cohen has seemingly made more connections within MLB and Kroenke's bid "could be complicated by [a] cross-ownership rule from another sport" since he also owns the NFL's St. Louis Rams, the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and the NBA's Denver Nuggets.
  • Perhaps as a way of combating Cohen and Kroenke's cash-on-hand advantage, the Dodgers ownership group led by Magic Johnson has added Peter Guber to its rank, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.  Guber co-owns the NBA's Golden State Warriors and his Mandalay Entertainment group owns and manages seven minor league baseball franchises.
  • Jeff Moorad's attempt to buy the Padres is an "uphill battle," a source tells Jon Heyman.  As per Moorad's deal with current Padres owner John Moores, Moorad has two years remaining to try to complete the purchase but may not be able to win the votes needed from other owners.  White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick are rumored to be against Moorad's bid.
  • Dennis Tankersley hasn't pitched in the majors since 2004 and hasn't played any pro ball since 2008 but is attempting a comeback with the Padres this spring, writes MLB.com's Corey Brock.
  • Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers told reporters (including Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic) that he is still looking to add depth at the middle infield and catcher positions.  Towers also said that teams have expressed an interest in Gerardo Parra via their scouts talking to Arizona's scouts, though Towers reiterated that he doesn't want to trade the outfielder.  In January, I outlined why the D'Backs want to hold to Parra even though the Jason Kubel signing pushed him out of their lineup.