Parra ups trade value with another big game
Brewers outfielder notches three hits, scores three runs, makes great catch
SAN FRANCISCO -- At Miller Park on Tuesday, general manager Doug Melvin gathered his staff for another long day of work leading up to Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. Two thousand miles away at AT&T Park, Gerardo Parra did his part to make Melvin's groundwork pay dividends.
The Brewers' top trade chip enjoyed another banner night, scoring three runs while finishing a home run shy of the cycle and making a highlight-reel catch to help extinguish the Giants' best rally in the Brewers' 5-2 win. The better Parra plays, the more likely it is he'll be wearing a different uniform by the end of the week.
"If and when something happens," said Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, "he's going to make somebody better."
Parra is a free agent for the first time in his career after this season, and the odds favor a trade before Friday's 3 p.m. CT Deadline. Melvin has fielded interest in Parra from multiple teams, but one of the most prominent, the Angels, probably fell off the list of suitors by making three separate trades for outfielders Monday and Tuesday.
Other teams are interested, too. Parra is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner and a left-handed hitter enjoying a three-month hot streak. Entering the night, only Paul Goldschmidt, Buster Posey and Jason Kipnis had a better batting average since April 25. When Parra doubled in the first inning, it gave him a 12-game hitting streak, the longest by a Brewer this season, and a .500 average in the first inning of the 28 games he's led off.
Asked again about his Trade Deadline outlook, Parra said, "I don't like talking about that. I can't pay attention to that. Just play baseball hard, because I don't have any control over anything else."
Parra has yet to hit for the cycle in his career, but has now finished a home run shy of the feat on two occasions. The other was for the D-backs in an Aug. 30, 2011, win over the Rockies. He batted in the eighth inning of that game with a chance to complete the cycle, but singled instead.
This time, Parra did not get that opportunity. After doubling in the first inning, singling in the second and tripling in the seventh, he was due up fourth in the ninth inning. But the Brewers went down in order against San Francisco's Ryan Vogelsong, with Parra left on deck when pinch-hitter Shane Peterson grounded out to end the inning.
Parra also showcased his Gold Glove defense. In the seventh, he raced toward the right-field line to make a diving catch of Brandon Crawford's sacrifice fly. The Giants' run cut the Brewers' lead to 5-2, but Parra's catch helped reliever Will Smith escape the inning without further damage.
"That's my money, too, my defense," Parra said with a smile.