Gerardo Parra should have a secure position in Major League Baseball. As a 24-year-old last season, he posted a very solid stat line with a .292 batting average, eight home runs, 46 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases. While these are definitely not elite numbers, they are definitely respectable. On top of that, he won a Gold Glove as a left fielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He hasn't even reached his prime yet, but he is already putting up good numbers with the potential for more.
You would think that production like that from a player his age would be rewarded with playing time the following season. However, Arizona signed Jason Kubel over the winter, which has created a bottleneck in the outfield. Justin Upton will obviously remain in right field, Chris Young will return to center field, and the newly acquired Kubel will take over in left field.
Parra is the odd man out. He will probably spend most of 2012 on the bench as a utility outfielder who will play all three of those positions.
But doesn't that kind of seem like a waste?
If Parra truly does tend 2012 on the bench, his value will surely drop. The Diamondbacks will not have a place for him in next year's outfield either, so his trade value might drop even more.
Right now, he is coming off of a very strong season where he demonstrated a solid all-around game at a young age. Since it appears that Arizona does not have any immediate vacancies in their outfield, they should try to trade him now.
Even though General Manager Kevin Towers says that no discussions have taken place, they probably should start soon. If they are ever going to sell, now would be the time.
It would be better for the Diamondbacks, and it would be better for Parra. They would be able to do use his trade value to reinforce a weakness, and he will be able to find the starting position that he has earned by his solid play last season.
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