Fox Sports’ Jack Magruder tweeted that the Boston Red Sox wanted Arizona Diamonbacks young defensive wizard Gerardo Parra for the oft-talked about third baseman Kevin Youkilis. The D’Backs “politely declined”.
There are a couple of pieces of perspective that need to be shown when looking at the reasons for Arizona declining the potential swap. In the offseason, the Diamondbacks overpaid for corner outfielder Jason Kubel in a move I thought was quizzical. Kubel has a solid bat with good pop, but the Diamondbacks already had a stacked OF trio in Chris Young, Justin Upton, and Parra. By signing Kubel, the D’Backs were not only overpaying but also taking away playing time from a better player in Gerardo Parra.
While Kubel is a better hitter than Parra, Parra is a far superior defensive player and more than makes up for the gap in hitting. Kubel’s defense is definitely poor, and Parra also holds the advantage as a base-runner.
In any case, the Diamondbacks still highly value Gerardo Parra and his defense. He’s also developed as a hitter and is starting to fill out his potential to supply a decent bat to the Arizona offense. The Diamondbacks aren’t going to trade a cheaper, younger player who isn’t far off from Youk’s overall value.
The Kubel signing likely plays into this decision in another way, because the Diamondbacks spending budge was cut due to signing Kubel. Youkilis carries an expensive contract, and the Red Sox would prefer not to cover his contract.
I actually think Boston would have done this if they acquired Parra, simply because he is the type of young, valuable player they covet (especially in the outfield) and they asked for him. However, Arizona most likely rejected the deal not because of budgetary constraints but because they value Parra as a player.
Now, a deal between these teams for the veteran corner INF might not get done because of the low spending budge for ‘Zona. They don’t have the payroll flexibility to bring in Youkilis, unless if they part with something significant (likely a young player). I wouldn’t rule it out, especially since Boston will drop their asking price later on. What we do know is that Gerardo Parra isn’t going anywhere.