Where does Gerardo Parra fit in the Colorado Rockies Plan?
The Colorado Rockies signed outfielder Gerardo Parra to a three-year, 27.5 million dollar contract with a team-option fourth year for 12 million, and now I’m confused. It makes no sense. Gerardo Parra has always hit well against the Rockies and is (was) a constant thorn in the Rockies side when he was with Arizona. Now he’s on our side. Are we going for Rockies-killers? Are we trying to swing our most hated enemies into assets? Are the Rockies really just the Tyrells and is Parra Tommen Baratheon, trying to manipulate the Game of Thrones in their favor?! ARE WE STRIKING AN ALLIANCE WITH THE ENEMY?!
*Takes deep breath*
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Of all people, signing Gerardo Parra makes no sense to me. He’s declined defensively over the past two years which is his strength. His power numbers have increased – his slugging percentage has increased from .403 in 2013 to .452 last year – but that doesn’t compare to any of the current outfielders on the Rockies roster. He’s 29 and not going to improve over the length of his contract. He is what he is; a lesser outfielder than what we have now.
That’s not even the most frustrating thing about this deal. If the Rockies only trade Carlos Gonzalez, the most attractive outfielder they have, all outfield spots have starters penciled in for the next three years. Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson both have three and four years of team control left, respectively. Add Parra to that mix and the outfield is locked until 2019.
That cannot happen. David Dahl needs to play. Dahl, the Rockies 2012 1st Round pick and #47 prospect in baseball via MLB.com, needs to play as soon as he’s ready to make an impact at the major league level. If we’re stuck watching Gerardo Parra play while Dahl wastes a year of his career just waiting in AAA Albuquerque, I’ll switch my allegiance to the *shudders* Marlins for a week out of anger. I mean, if that happens, they’ll basically be on the same level of dysfunction, right?
For all we know, GM Jeff Bridich has trades lined up for multiple guys and he’s just taking his time to decide. Cool. At this point, it doesn’t matter to me. This is dumb and it makes more sense to keep the guys we have than to sign someone like Parra. Hell, we could just keep them all and play four outfielders at once and revolutionize the game!
Look, Parra is a fine player. He doesn’t strike out much, hits a decent amount of doubles and has a great arm, all things that play well at Coors. In a vacuum, this is a decent signing; we signed him at the projected value of 3 years-27 million which is awesome. It is plausible Parra will be successful in a Rockies uniform and play his way into a valuable trade piece. He just can’t get in the way of the young outfielders in the organization.
Honestly, there’s a scenario where this outfielder issue works out for the Rockies. If the Rockies trade Blackmon this offseason, Parra can man center field until Dahl has proven he’s ready. This let’s Bridich hold onto CarGo and take the chance that he’ll improve his stock in a much thinner market over the summer or next year. That leaves the flexibility to give Dahl the playing time, maximize the value of the Rockies assets and allows the Rockies to move Parra once Raimel Tapia is ready. If all of this happens, Bridich will be a genuis. That’s a pretty big if.
The Rockies contention window relies heavily on development. That largely applies to pitching prospects but position players are important too; especially top talents like Dahl and Tapia, who could hit the big leagues in 2017. They have a chance to be the future of the organization and if Bridich can get them on the field with Parra, I’ll be happy.
Next: Rockies Should Wait to Trade CarGo
Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has played everything close to the chest. So close that we essentially only hear rumors that are (probably) unfounded about Rockies in potential trade talks. What we do know is that he’s listening on everyone. It’s a matter of price.