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."