Even though the World Series is still fresh in the minds of MLB players and coaches alike, recent talk is directed away from the fall classic.
First noted by Patrick Newman late last night, former Washington Nationals outfielder Gerardo Para is headed to Japan. The 32-year-old officially inked a $2 million deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. The deal also has a $3 million vesting option for 2021. Despite coming off of a World Series title with Washington, Parra is likely avoiding another minor-league deal. If he were to remain in the states, that would probably be the best-case scenario filled with little monetary value.
In his 11th season playing in the MLB, Parra got off to a rather rough start. During the past offseason, he was reduced to a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants. From there, the performance didn’t warrant a raise as he hit just .198/.278/.267 in 97 plate appearances.
Then came the change of scenery that Parra needed. He was released by the Giants, and that’s when Parra found his second wind. Once with the Nationals organization, Parra improved his performance at the plate to .250/.300/.447 across 204 plate appearances. He also won over the hearts of all the Washington faithful by implementing the “Baby Shark” theme as his walk-up music. That, in turn, acted as a battle cry of sorts for the team and created a memorable moment in a fairytale-like season.
Ever since debuting back in May of 2009, Parra has put together a solid MLB career. Most of his time was spent with the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he enjoyed a fair amount of success. Parra hit .274/.326/.395 to go along with 212 extra-base hits and an average of 41 RBI per year while wearing a Diamondbacks uniform. During that time, Parra also earned two Gold Glove awards and was eighth in the rookie of the year voting back in 2009.
From there, Parra had stints with four other teams before joining the Nationals. That included a two-year stint with the Milwaukee Brewers. During his time with the Brew Crew, Parra produced his best two-year mark in terms of OPS+ at 128. The veteran also made stops playing for the Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies (three years), and San Francisco Giants.
He will depart the MLB ranks with a mark of .276/.323/.404, 88 home runs, 264 doubles, and 96 stolen bases.
Even with his impact at the MLB level, Parra will now be taking his talents out of the country where he will search for another bounce-back campaign.
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