While perusing the web the other day I came across an item in Nick Piecoro's blog on azcentral.com. Piecoro covers the Diamondbacks for the Arizona Republic, and was present for manager Kirk Gibson's introductory remarks at spring training.
In the course of Gibson's dialogue, the subject of the Snakes' signing of free agent Jason Kubel came up, in regards to Kubel assuming the everyday left field gig, a position that featured Gold Glove-winning Gerardo Parra in 2011. Gibson said he wanted to see Parra improve defensively in center, which could lead to additional playing time spelling Chris Young. Piecoro added that Parra wasn't the type to sound off about losing his job, but likely wasn't happy about it.
We don't see a lot of D-Backs' baseball on the east coast, so Parra's resume may not be familiar. He was signed by Arizona out of Venezuela as a free agent in 2004, when a certain Mike Rizzo was in the employ of the club. He arrived in the big leagues in 2009, and in three years has compiled a career batting average of .282 with an OBP of .331. Last year he hit .292 with an OBP of .357, with 15 steals. He's left-handed all the way and, while not a true slugger, had an OPS last year of .784.
Do you see where I'm going with this?
Is it possible that Parra could be a Nationals' target at the moment? He hasn't played a lot of center field, but has spent more than 360 innings out there. He had 12 outfield assists in left in 2011, so his arm seems adequate. Rizzo is certainly familiar with Parra's development, and Washington may have something to offer that the D-Backs could use.
Parra will be 25 in May, and usually bats in the lower third of the lineup. If he's unhappy in the desert, maybe he'd find the east coast more to his liking. I think we all feel the Nationals have at least one more trade in the offing before opening day, and Parra makes at least a modicum of sense.