DENVER -- The pursuit of free-agent outfielder Gerardo Parra sheds further light on the Rockies' offensive strategy -- to improve the pitching through a trade with one of its outfielders, then spend free-agent dollars to fill the outfield hole.
The Rockies are "said to be a serious pursuer here" and "seven or eight teams" are pursuing Parra, CBSSports.com reported on Thursday. Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich declined to comment. However, a Major League source confirmed the interest to MLB.com.
With Parra, 28, seeking a multiyear deal, the logical speculation will surround Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez, a two-time All-Star known to be on the trading block. With Gonzalez owed 7 million in salary over the next two years, it is seen as doubtful that the Rockies would keep him and sign Parra. While there has been much speculation, with the Rockies hoping to get a starting pitcher (either a young Major Leaguer or a top prospect) and a reliever in return, no deal is in place.
The Rockies also are listening to offers for center fielder Charlie Blackmon, projected by MLB Trade Rumors to receive .5 million in 2016 as a first-time arbitration-eligible player, and left fielder Corey Dickerson, who is a year away from arbitration and under club control for four years. The idea is to improve starting pitching without playing in an expensive free-agency market.
Parra has played all three outfield positions and has won Rawlings Gold Glove Awards in left (2011) and right ('13).
Last season, Parra hit .291 with a .328 on-base percentage and a .452 slugging percentage with the Brewers and the Orioles combined. He was better with the Brewers (.328/.369/.517) than the Orioles (.237/.268/.357). Playing with Baltimore was his first experience in the American League.
Parra hit .274/.326/.395 in six seasons with the D-backs before being dealt to the Brewers on July 31, 2014.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.