As was rumored last night, the Orioles appear to have traded pitching prospect Zach Davies for Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra. The trade is being reported as complete, pending physicals, by multiple national and Orioles beat reporters. The major change since last night is that the trade is one-for-one, with the Brewers apparently backing off of their demand for an additional piece beyond Davies.
Parra is in the midst of a career year, mashing to the tune of a .886 OPS that may or may not be fueled by good luck on balls in play. Even if Parra regresses a bit after coming over to the Orioles, the team is banking on him playing everyday and outproducing the combination of Travis Snider, Nolan Reimold and David Lough at one of the corner outfield spots -- which seems like a safe bet. Parra will be a free agent after the 2015 season.
To obtain Parra, the club is giving up AAA pitching prospect Zach Davies, who currently sports a 2.84 ERA at Norfolk. Davies is counted as the #3 prospect in a pretty thin Orioles organization, but is a 22-year-old pitching well at AAA after moving up one level per year in the organization. That's definitely a pretty good level of value to any number of clubs, particularly for two months of play from a rental outfielder having a career year.
There's plenty of debate to be had on this move, especially given the team's recent history with rental players (looking at you, Michael Morse and K-Rod), but it shows that the Orioles are thinking of themselves as buyers -- and upgrading the offense is certainly priority #1 in trying to put together a playoff run at this point. This will almost certainly be some kind of upgrade -- time will tell how much, and whether it's enough to push the team over the hump.