The Nationals don’t appear content going into the season with Rick Ankiel, Roger Bernadina or Jayson Werth as the starting center fielder.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nationals have expressed interest in Diamondbacks’ outfielder Gerardo Parra. Nationals’ general manager Mike Rizzo signed Parra to his first professional contract when he was Arizona’s director of scouting from 2000-2006.
It’s not clear who the Nationals would offer in return, but Ladson mentions that the club has some starting pitching depth. That might not be very appealing for Arizona, though, as they already have a full rotation and plenty of young starting pitching on the way.
Parra won a Gold Glove in left field last season, but the addition of Jason Kubel is expected to push him into a part-time role this year. The 24-year-old batted .292/.357/.427 with eight homers, 46 RBI, 15 stolen bases and a .784 OPS in 2011 and has experience at all three outfield positions. He remains under team control through 2015.
If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.
“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.
Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.