In most organizations, a $6.8 million dollar contract would not be a big deal. But in Milwaukee, paying a backup that kind of money in his final year before free agency doesn’t seem necessary. With a need to continue to develop organizational growth, it is in the Brewers’ best interest to trade Gerardo Parra before the season begins.
Keeping the talented Parra makes no sense for the team this season. While he is a Gold Glove defender who can handle himself at the plate, the Brewers simply cannot take away regular at-bats away from the powerful, Khris Davis. With the ability to start on many teams throughout the league flipping Parra for prospects would help to again save money and also add depth throughout the minor league system.
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Bu in order to deal Parra, the Brewers must have a strong backup plan. The only way that can happen however, is if the organization gains confidence in waiver claim, Shane Peterson this spring.
Although Logan Schafer has been a strong defender over recent seasons, his struggles at the plate would hurt the team if he were pressed into full-time duty. Last season, Schafer batted just .181 with a measly .554 OPS. A bat like this cannot be trusted even on a limited basis.
Given Schafer’s struggles, Peterson could give them a lift both at the plate and in the field. With the ability to play all three outfield positions and even first base, his versatility would be of great value on the Brewers’ bench. Last season in AAA Peterson had a career year, batting .318 with an .841 OPS while slugging 11 home runs and 40 doubles. At 27-years-old he could be a late-bloomer that could fill in admirably as a much cheaper alternative to Parra.
When the spring begins, most eyes will be on Ryan Braun‘s thumb, the bullpen, and Jimmy Nelson‘s continued development as a starter, but Peterson’s bat will be just as important. Coming off the best season of his life, the former second-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals has the talent to be an important piece of the Brewers’ puzzle. While trading a player with Parra’s talent won’t be easy, a big spring from Peterson would make a deal involving him a no-brainier.