The Orioles have made it to nonwaiver trade deadline day, which is basically baseball’s version of a frenzied open-air market.
There will be more trades Friday before the 4 p.m. deadline (for the record, it is kind of a false deadline; players can be traded in August, too, but have to pass through trade waivers first).
And I expect the Orioles to make one, maybe two deals. I’d be surprised if they didn’t walk away with at least one outfielder who can play left and get on base. And, potentially, lead off, so Manny Machado can be put in a more conducive, run-producing spot.
The best fit, in my opinion, is Gerardo Parra, the 28-year-old left-handed hitter for the Milwaukee Brewers. He’s having a career year offensively, batting .326 with a .367 on-base percentage, nine homers and 31 RBIs in his first 99 games.
He has led off for a chunk of this season for Milwaukee and has hit leadoff more than any other slot in the batting order in his career. And, perhaps more important for a Buck Showalter team, Parra is an excellent defender. He has won two Gold Gloves, and although one scout told me that Parra’s defense may have slipped a little this year, he’d still be a big defensive plus in left for the Orioles.
And then there’s what he could do offensively for that position. Orioles left fielders combined to hit .210 (29th out of 30 for MLB left fielders) with a .283 on-base percentage (28th) and a .330 slugging (27th). That obviously needs to change – and a Parra or a Ben Revere of the Philadelphia Phillies, would be a vast improvement over the collective group the Orioles are using right now. Parra, by the way, is a free agent at season’s end; Revere can be under contract through 2017.
I had heard earlier this week that the Brewers were asking a lot for Parra – Kevin Gausman’s name was floated. The expectation is that the price will drop, and minor league pitchers such as Zach Davies or Tyler Wilson could be in play.
Of course, other teams could sweep in, too. That’s probably what makes this day so exciting – or potentially frustrating - for fans.
We’ll be doing our best to bring you all the updated information on the Orioles at the trade deadline throughout the day Friday.