This offseason the Diamondbacks tried unsuccessfully to work out a contract extension with outfielder Gerardo Parra, eventually inking a one-year deal to avoid arbitration. But now Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the two sides may get back into extension talks again.
Parra still has two more seasons of team control via arbitration, so there’s no real hurry, but general manager Kevin Towers told Piecoro that a long-term contract is “possibly” something they’ll look into and “it just depends on if the price is right … we value him a great deal.”
Towers specifically cited Garra’s outstanding defense in the outfield, calling him “a very unique player.” Parra’s offensive numbers are nothing special and great outfield defense is often undervalued, particularly from the corner spots, so if the Diamondbacks feel he’s a long-term building block the price to lock him up at age 26 should be fairly reasonable.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.