The Orioles have traded for outfielder Gerardo Parra of the Milwaukee Brewers, sending back minor-league pitcher Zach Davies. The trading deadline is today at 4 p.m. Here are some initial thoughts on the deal:
Dan Connolly, reporter: This trade had to be done. Really, it is the perfect fit for an Orioles team that has gotten woeful offensive production out of left field – which has included six players making starts there: Travis Snider, David Lough, Nolan Reimold, Steve Pearce and two guys no longer with the team, Alejandro De Aza and Delmon Young.
Ed Encina, reporter: The Orioles had to do something to upgrade their offensive production in left field. And while the acquisition of Gerardo Parra isn't as splashy a move as other teams have made at the trade deadline, it unquestionably makes the Orioles a better team down the stretch. The Orioles usually rely on track record and while Parra is a two-time Gold Glove winner – defensive metrics suggest a down year defensively – the 28-year-old is still an upgrade in the field. Parra is having a career year at the plate, but his .328 average and .369 on-base percentage will be welcome anywhere in the Orioles' batting order. He will be playing in the American League for the first time in his career. Dealing right-hander Zach Davies, who over the past two seasons had risen to become one of the Orioles' top pitching prospects despite his low draft status and wiry frame, prompts uneasy feelings much like when the Orioles were forced to deal Eduardo Rodriguez to get Andrew Miller, but you have to give something to get something. Davies was one of the organization's best models of solid player development, but if he could draw the missing piece to get the Orioles' to the World Series, it's worth it.
Josh Land, Orioles editor: The Orioles needed a corner outfielder who can get on base, and they got it at minimal cost in acquiring Gerardo Parra from the Milwaukee Brewers. Parra is having a terrific contract year, with a .369 on-base percentage (.330 career) and .328 average. He'll be a good fit in the leadoff spot and is a quality defender. Yes, they part with another young pitcher for a rental. But they bring in exactly what they need without parting with any of their top prospects, and managed to get it done one-for-one. Dan Duquette did a good job waiting out the market and for prices to drop before he acted to improve his club's playoff chances.
Childs Walker, reporter: It's not as glitzy as the trades the Blue Jays pulled off this week, but the Orioles' acquisition of outfielder Gerardo Parra is a smart win-now move. In the thick of the wild-card race and on the verge of potentially losing several big-name players to free agency, the Orioles needed to invest in making the playoffs this year. As an excellent defender with some pop in his bat, Parra will offer a clear upgrade in left field, which has been one of the Orioles' most obvious weak spots all season. Zach Davies has pitched well again this season, but he projects to be a back-of-the-rotation starter, which is something the Orioles already have in abundance. He was a reasonable price to pay for a boost to the club's 2015 playoff chances.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: This trade vastly improves the Orioles' offense and defense. It gives them a leadoff hitter to allow them to move Manny Machado down in the lineup (although he failed to get a hit in three games when he batted third). Parra is also a two-time Gold Glove winner. This is a good start to trading deadline day for the Orioles.