Parra, who turns 35 in May, is a veteran of 12 MLB seasons and 1519 games played. His best stretch of play was from 2010 to 2015. He was never elite at the plate, but had enough speed and defense to still be valuable in that time. Over those six seasons, he hit .274/.326/.404 for a wRC+ of 94 and 10.8 fWAR.
In 2019, he started the season with the Giants but was designated for assignment in early May. After clearing waivers, he signed on with the Nats and became a fan favorite when he chose “Baby Shark” as his walk-up music. This eventually became an unofficial team anthem as the club went on their incredible run to become that year’s World Series champions. Parra played in Japan in 2020 but came back to the Nats last year on a minor league deal. He ultimately had his contract selected and got into 53 games, hitting .237/.292/.351.
For the Nationals, there’s no harm in adding some veteran depth, especially in the wake of a deadline selloff last year that has left plenty of question marks going forward. Juan Soto obviously has one outfield spot spoken for. Lane Thomas had a nice showing after coming over in the Jon Lester trade and will probably be pencilled in. Victor Robles is still around, though he’s now had two consecutive rough seasons at the plate. Then there’s a handful of other guys who could see some time on the grass but aren’t necessarily guaranteed a long stretch, such as Ehire Adrianza, Andrew Stevenson, Lucius Fox and Yadiel Hernandez. Bringing on a veteran like Parra is a no-risk way of improving the depth behind this group.