Nationals interested in outfielder Gerardo Parra

Nationals interested in outfielder Gerardo Parra

Nationals interested in outfielder Gerardo Parra
VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals are still looking for help in the outfield and they have expressed interest in D-backs outfielder Gerardo Parra, according to a baseball source.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo is familiar with Parra, whom he signed to his first professional contract in 2004, when both were in Arizona. Rizzo was the scouting director at the time.

The left-handed-hitting Parra can play all three outfield positions. If he were to join the Nationals, he could be the team's center fielder, which is his worst defensive position. Parra won the Gold Glove last year as a left fielder. He was also a solid at the plate, hitting .292 with eight home runs, 46 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. Parra is entering his fourth season in the Major Leagues and is currently Arizona's fourth outfielder.

Rizzo and manager Davey Johnson were not available for comment. It's not known whom the Nationals would trade for Parra. Left-hander John Lannan is on the trade block, and it's almost a certainty that he will be dealt before the start of the season. The Nationals currently have a surplus of starting pitching.

Entering Spring Training, the Nationals were thinking about putting Jayson Werth in center field. Johnson said he is going to give Bryce Harper every chance to make the team as the right fielder. There are some in the organization who believe Harper may not be ready by Opening Day.

Only time will tell.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.