Parra deal nets another building block for Crew
Milwaukee lands RHP prospect Davies from Orioles for outfielder
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers were busy ahead of Friday's 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline, and as a result, Gerardo Parra was on the move again.
Parra, traded from the D-backs to the Brewers last July 31, was shipped to Baltimore on Friday. The Brewers' return was Minor League pitcher Zach Davies, a 22-year-old right-hander with a good changeup who ranked No. 3 on MLB.com's list of the top Orioles prospects.
Davies will be assigned to Triple-A Colorado Springs, and he is advanced enough that he might not have to wait long to crack the Brewers' starting rotation.
"You're hoping you don't have to spend money on [starting pitching] for a few years," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "We're hoping Zach Davies can step into [Mike] Fiers' position next year. We may see him later on this year. For now, we'll let him pitch in Triple-A and sort of regroup. Starting pitching is always the toughest because it's so expensive."
Davies pitched in the 2015 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game this year and the Arizona Fall League last year. He had a 2.84 ERA in 18 starts plus one relief appearance at Triple-A Norfolk, and he joined the Brewers' prospect list at No. 11, just behind 2014 first-round Draft pick Kodi Medeiros, a left-handed pitcher.
Davies bucks the trend for the Brewers, who have focused in recent years on acquiring large-framed, hard-throwing pitchers. Davies is neither, listed generously at 6-foot, 160 pounds.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter called Melvin after the trade to offer an endorsement.
"He said, 'Once you get over his size, you will see he's a pretty good pitcher," Melvin said. "He said he pitched him in a game and went out to the mound and everybody was giggling and laughing at the size of him. Two innings later, nobody was laughing."
Melvin had been asking for two or even three prospects for Parra, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner having the best offensive season of his career. Since the end of April, only Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt and Cleveland's Jason Kipnis have a better batting average. But he and one other Brewers official said Friday that Davies represented the best offer.
"We did make one effort to try to sign Parra just to see if he was interested," Melvin said. "He wanted to test the market. We weren't surprised. We didn't even engage in anything, we just asked the agent if he would have interest in a quick negotiation. ...
"I would have been surprised if he said, 'Let's sit down at the table and do something.' I wasn't surprised or shocked or upset or sad or anything in that regard. I understood that."
With both Carlos Gomez and Parra gone, the Brewers will have to piece things together in center field for the remainder of the season. On Thursday night, they promoted Triple-A Colorado Springs' Logan Schafer, who was just 6-for-33 during an earlier stint with Milwaukee this season, mostly off the bench.