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San Francisco Giants: Who’s Left for Left Field?

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Oct 4, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles right fielder Gerardo Parra (18) hits a two run single during the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Gerardo Parra

According to Giants’ writer Andrew Baggarly, the Giants have long been fans of outfielder Gerardo Parra, but couldn’t convince their division rivals, the Arizona Diamondbacks, to trade him within the division. As a Milwaukee Brewer in 2015, the Giants were linked to Parra as trade partners, but ultimately couldn’t pull the trigger before Parra was dealt to the Baltimore Orioles. Now a free agent again, Parra could be on the Giants’ radar.

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Parra is coming off a nice offensive season split between Baltimore and Milwaukee, during which he batted .291 and slugged a career-high .452, stole 14 bases, and swatted 36 doubles, five triples, and a career-high 14 home runs. Hitting in Miller Park, a good hitter’s park, helped lead him to a strong .328/.369/.517 slash-line, but moving to a different hitter’s park in Camden Yards wasn’t so nice. His slash-line dropped to .237/.268/.357. Moving to a pitcher’s park like AT&T Park could hurt him more.

Parra’s biggest selling point is his defense. He’s won a pair of Gold Gloves, coming in 2011 and 2013 with the Diamondbacks. In 2011, Parra was primarily a left fielder, and in 2013 he was mostly a right fielder, so he can cover both corners well. He’s also played a good amount in center field, with 186 games of experience there. His throwing arm is considered one of the best in the game, as he tied for the MLB lead with 17 outfield assists in 2013, and was tied for eighth in 2011 with 12 assists. Putting Parra in left field (or center field) with Hunter Pence in right field could make the best outfield arm combination in the game.

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The Giants have admired Parra from afar for a while (much like they did with new pitcher Samardzija). Now that Parra doesn’t have a dance partner, they could make the first move.