BALTIMORE -- The Orioles acquired outfielder Gerardo Parra from the Brewers for right-handed pitching prospect Zach Davies hours before today's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline. To open a roster spot for Parra, the Orioles designated outfielder Chris Parmelee for for assignment.
"We're real happy and excited that we were able to pick up Parra. He's one of the top hitters in the National League this year, and he fits the profile of an everyday position player for us," said executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. "Two-time Gold Glover, he can hit against left- and right-handed pitching, and he's very good at getting on base. He's got some really good numbers at the top of the order. He's a good setup hitter and a good defender to play in the field. That should keep our defense strong, help our pitching, and his presence at the top of the lineup should be real additive. That's an ingredient that we've been missing, and we're glad to have him join us."
The swap represents a departure from Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin's high asking price as the Brewers were said to be looking for multiple prospects for Parra in the days leading up to the Deadline. Instead, they settled on one higher-valued prospect, as Davies was on display in this year's Futures Game.
"I saw during our research on Parra, he's the leading hitter in the big leagues since May 1 in terms of average. He's been hitting the ball really well. He's desirable to a lot of teams, so the cost is significant," Duquette said. "It's a credit to our farm system that we have the players available to trade. And again, I think when you're close and you have a chance to get into the playoffs, you've got to do what you can around these deadlines to strengthen your team and keep going toward the goal."
In 24 games this month, Parra was batting .435 with four home runs and a 1.212 OPS. The 28-year-old is batting .328/.369/.517 in 100 games this season and can be a free agent this winter. Because he's been traded during the season preceding free agency, the Orioles cannot make a qualifying offer to him and thus will not receive Draft-pick compensation if he signs with another team during the offseason.
Davies, whose name first surfaced on Thursday night, was ranked as the Orioles' No. 3 prospect by MLBPipeline.com and pitched at this year's Futures Game. He is 5-6 with a 2.84 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) with Triple-A Norfolk and has impressed the organization as he's steadily climbed the ranks.
"That's one of those [trades] that should work out real well for both clubs," manager Buck Showalter said. "We got a good player back and gave up a good pitching prospect. I've always been a fan of [Parra]. We played him out there last year. I know he won a Gold Glove in left and right, having a big year offensively, but he plays the game like our fans like to see played. He fits us and kind of who we have to be to be competitive."
Parra landed in Washington, D.C., on Friday afternoon and made the drive to Baltimore, arriving just before the game. His presence presents another leadoff option for Showalter, who wasn't sure if Parra would get the bulk of his time in left or right field just yet.
"You talk to probably 20 people about him in the last week. I got a pretty good grip, but it's better off to talk to the player," Showalter said. "[He's] capable of hitting in a lot of spots in the lineup, and he's handled himself well against left-handed pitching this year. Smart, looking forward to his addition."