While still on the lookout for a right-hander relief pitcher, the Milwaukee Brewers made a move Thursday to deepen their outfield, more specifically with a left-handed bat.
The Brewers acquired outfielder Gerardo Parra from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for two minor leaguers, outfielder Mitch Haniger and left-hander Anthony Banda.
Parra is expected to join the team Friday in St. Louis.
"The addition of Parra gives us a veteran player who helps to balance our lineup and also brings Gold Glove defense," said general manager Doug Melvin.
Parra, 27, is batting .259 with six home runs and 30 RBI in 104 games this season. He has made 98 starts, 96 in right field and two in center.
Signing as a non-drafted free agent on Aug. 8, 2004, Parra had spent his entire professional career in the Diamondbacks organization. He is a career .274 hitter with 39 home runs and 250 RBI in 787 major league games (2009-14).
Known for his exceptional defense, Parra won National League Gold Glove Awards in left field (2011) and right field (2013). His 62 outfield assists since 2009 are tied for second (with two others) in the major leagues, trailing only the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista (63).
To make room for Parra on the 25-man roster, outfielder Logan Schafer will be optioned to Triple-A Nashville. The Brewers gave Schafer multiple chances to serve as their fourth outfielder but he failed to contribute offensively, batting .183 with a .267 on-base percentage.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Parra, the Brewers moved reliever Tyler Thornburg from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. Parra cannot be a free agent until after the 2015 season. He has a $4.85 million salary this season, so the Brewers would be picking up about $1.6 million.
Parra said he was "a little bit surprised" to be traded but said he looked forward to the chance to play for a first-place team.
"This is a good opportunity to play for Milwaukee. I will do my best to help them win. I'm happy," he said. "The Diamondbacks were not playing well but I say thank you to them for my opportunity. But I'm happy to play for a team in first place."
As for the outfield situation in Milwaukee, "I don't want to think about that now. I just want to play hard no matter where the manager uses me. I want to play every day and do what I can to help the team win. I can play in all three outfield positions."
Haniger, 24, was selected by the Brewers in the supplemental first round of the 2012 draft First-Year Player Draft. He batted .255 with 10 homers and 34 RBI in 67 games at Class-AA Huntsville this season. Banda, 20, was selected by the Brewers in the 10th round of the 2012 draft. He was 6-6 with a 3.66 ERA and two saves in 20 games (14 starts) at Class-A Wisconsin this season.
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