A left handed bat was needed in the outfield for the Milwaukee Brewers. At least that's what General Manager Doug Melvin insisted when he acquired outfielder Gerardo Parra from Arizona in exchange for two minor league prospects Thursday.
The trade deadline deal sends two minor league prospects to Arizona, left-handed pitcher Anthony Banda and outfielder Mitch Haniger.
Parra is a two-time gold glover who has been with the Diamondbacks since 2004. He's batted .274 with 39 homers and 250 RBI in 787 games played.
This year, Parra played in 104 games, starting in 98 of those with Arizona. He's batting .259 with six homers and 30 RBI.
"All three of our outfielders are right-handed," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "Parra is a veteran guy who can give those guys a day off or be used in matchups against certain right-handed pitching. He's a Gold Glover.
"He has experience at all three outfield positions. We got him to play and help us out. He hasn't played quite as much as in the past because the Diamondbacks were experimenting with younger guys."
The Brewers really could have used a reliever in the bullpen and apparently Melvin searched hard for one. He made a proposal for righty Andrew Miller, but Miller ended up being dealt to Baltimore. He also tried to make a trade for San Diego's Joaquin Benoit, another righty.
Melvin asked about Arizona's Addison Reed (righty) and Brad Ziegler (righty). He even tried to reunite current Colorado Rockies' righty LaTroy Hawkins with the Brewers (2010-2011). None of those players ended up leaving their current teams.
Melvin didn't want to give up any big name players for a short term player like pitching ace David Price. Price ended up going to Detroit.
"We did try to do something big in a couple of areas, but we weren't in on those guys," Melvin said. "We had a couple opportunities (elsewhere). You look at different things but a lot of clubs want major league-ready players and we have prospects (available).
To make room for Parra, the Brewers sent Logan Schaefer to Class AAA Nashville. Schaefer, a left-handed batter, has struggled, batting only .183 as the fourth outfielder.
Parra can play all three outfield positions but he'll likely see the most action in left field. That's where Khris Davis currently plays. He'll probably get quite a few starts against right handed pitchers.
When Parra was told he was traded he was "a bit surprised" but also added he was excited to play for a first place team.