Outside of some minor league moves and picking up their end of the mutual option on Aramis Ramirez, the Milwaukee Brewers have been relatively silent this winter. That could change this week with the onset of Major League Baseball Winter Meetings.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Brewers may be positioning themselves as a possible alternative trade partner to teams that lose out on the bidding for free agent Melky Cabrera.
Parra registered a career-best 4.1 Wins Above Replacement in 2013 as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, hitting .268/.323/.403 with 10 home runs and 48 RBI. However, most of his value was derived from a stand-out defensive season in the outfield, where Gerardo Parra put up an amazing 29.5 UZR/150 and a 41 Defensive Runs Saved by making 130 Out of Zone Plays according to FanGraphs.
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Unfortunalely, that made Parra a big candidate for regression, and he fell on hard times in 2014. A .259/.305/.362 slash line at the trade deadline, coupled with a crowded Arizona outfield necessitated a trade to Milwaukee, where Parra’s slide continued. After being acquired by Milwaukee, he hit significantly better with full-time duty, slashing .268/.318/.390 but his play in the outfield was a significant disappointment. Ultimately, Parra finished the season with a .261/.308/.369 batting line, 9 home runs, and 40 RBI, while his defensive metrics slipped to -0.2 UZR/150, -1 DRS, and 66 OOZ plays.
With a third year of arbitration looming this winter, and an expected payout of $6.4 Million according to MLB Trade Rumors, the Brewers appear ready to move the outfielder, who could see a bounce-back season in 2015. Among the teams interested in Melky Cabrera, the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, and San Francisco Giants could be potential landing spots.
That all said, it remains to be seen what Doug Melvin would be looking for in return. A reasonably controllable bullpen arm would certainly be a plus for the Brewers, as would some solid minor league prospects for one of baseball’s thinnest systems. The team could also be in the market for a low-cost utility infielder, similar to Joaquin Arias of the Giants, Brad Miller of the Mariners, or Ryan Flaherty of the Orioles.