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.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.