In a notes column on Sunday, Troy Renck noted that the Rockies and Diamondbacks had a potential deal in place that would send Ian Stewart to Arizona and bring outfielder Gerardo Parra to Colorado. Amusingly, the Rockies are apparently the ones who decided against it.
I can't help but wonder WHY the Rockies decided against this trade. I suppose there's several answers that make some sort of sense.
The first is simply the fact that Parra is an all-glove, questionable-bat outfielder. His value, defensively, in LF is nearly unmatched, as over the past 4 seasons, he's been the 4th most valuable defensive LF at 26.8 UZR. At the plate, he's a career 87 wRC+ batter. This season, his above-average batting line and expected excellent fielding have put him at the level of 3.2 Wins Above Replacement (fWAR), or more specifically, a .296/.358/.435 batting line with 7 homers, 10SB, 46R, 35 RBI. For the lack of power Parra swings with, he strikes out an awful lot (career 18.3%), but he also hits line drives at a 20%+ rate,
The second is the fact that Parra is somewhat redundant to the Rockies' current outfield. Parra is a lefthander with a plus glove and a below-average bat. 60% of the time or so, Dexter Fowler is a lefthander with a plus glove (depending on who you talk to). Seth Smith is a lefthander with a plus bat and a minus glove (again, depending on who you talk to). Carlos Gonzalez is a plus bat with a plus glove. I mean, upside is that against right handed starters, there'll be a lot of options with regard to LF, but unless Fowler or Smith are traded away, Parra doesn't really make sense with the Rockies' outfield.
Third, and this is a pretty minor issue, but Parra would be a candidate for Super-Two status (I think he misses by all of one day), so any financial savings from jettisoning Stewart could be negated, depending on where he falls in that Super-Two stuff.
Similar to Clint Barmes, however, if the Rockies could get value out of Ian Stewart, they needed to have done it. Fact is, the dude's having a career year, and Stewart has had a career-worst year. The Rockies are going to nontender Stewart if they can't find a team willing to make a reclamation-for-reclamation deal, and the Dbacks were about to sell high on a guy for the price tag of another guy who may never have business in the majors again.
I feel like we shouldn't be surprised. I mean, I've defended Stewart up and down, despite strikeouts, despite demotions to AAA, I always wanted to see what he could do. I know a lot of others did as well. We can probably add Stewart to the list of players the Rockies just refused to move when they had any potential value. I know we're operating off of a sentence or two from Renck to determine what the deal was with Stewart, so this may be an overstatement in general. I also don't mean to pretend that it's easy to just shuffle off former 1st round picks with all the talent in the universe. It's just a common story.
Again, I just can't picture what kind of deal they're expecting to get for Ian Stewart. Clubs have discussed him, analysts have said not to give up on him, and Stewart himself has discussed trade possibilities with the club. Now we find out that there was an offer, there was a potential deal, and the team didn't jump at it? Look, saving money is one thing, but not getting any sort of a return when one is available is a bit frustrating, especially when it's almost completely obvious that Stewart isn't going to be with the team next season. It's pretty critical that the Rockies make a trade before it's too late and hopefully reclaim some sort of value out of Stewart.
Something tells me that Gavin Floyd isn't going to be available this time around.