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Washington Nationals Rumors: Nats interested in free agent Gerardo Parra... again

The Washington Nationals continue to search for an outfield bat according to a number of reports and this afternoon,'s Bill Ladson wrote that the Nats have contacted free agent outfielder Gerardo Parra. Will they get Parra this time?

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Dusty Baker, asked at the Winter Meetings what he thought the Washington Nationals' roster he is inheriting could use, told reporters that the Nats could stand to get more left-handed.

"You're always in need of left-handed pitching," Baker said. "Left-handed hitting, and in need of speed. I think that's the number one thing that's missing, I think, in the game is speed."

Washington has reportedly pursued left-handed bats throughout the offseason, making a rumored $200M offer to free agent outfielder Jason Heyward before they signed left-handed hitting infielder Daniel Murphy.'s Bill Ladson is reporting tonight that a name which has come up repeatedly in the past is once again of interest.

"The Nationals are still looking for a center fielder, and according to a baseball source, the club has made contact with free-agent outfielder Gerardo Parra," Ladson wrote.

Parra, 28, signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2004, when Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo was the D-Backs' scouting director.

He told Washington Post writer James Wagner late this past season that he was still thankful to Rizzo for giving him the opportunity he did.

"I’m forever grateful to Mike Rizzo because he gave me the chance, to sign first as a professional with Arizona," Parra said. "He and I have always had a nice friendship."

Parra's name came up as the Nationals searched for an outfield bat last July, but he was traded elsewhere at the deadline for the second straight season, going from Milwaukee to Baltimore after the Brewers acquired him from the D-Backs in July of 2014.

Over 155 games with the Brewers and Orioles in 2015, Parra put up a combined .291/.328/.452 line with 36 doubles, five triples, 14 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 589 plate appearances, over which he was worth 0.4 fWAR.

Through seven major league seasons, the Venezuelan-born outfielder has a .277/.326/.404 line, with a 162-game average of 30 doubles, six triples and nine home runs.

The two-time, Gold Glove-winning outfielder would seem to make sense in D.C. Ladson added that the Nationals have not closed the door on bringing Denard Span back either.

The veteran outfielder spent the last three seasons with the Nationals before becoming a free agent this winter.

"We certainly have kept in contact with him and several other players," Rizzo told reporters last month.

"[Span is] a guy that we really enjoyed his time here and the main thing about him is we have to see where his health is as we move forward in the offseason."

Any addition of an outfielder could move Michael Taylor to a part-time or backup role after the 24-year-old, who'll turn 25 in March, played center for the Nationals throughout the 2015 campaign while Span dealt with injuries.

Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes wrote this morning that Taylor could be used as a "superutility outfielder" in 2016, playing center or left as necessary.

Taylor told reporters last month that he wasn't worried about the rumors that the Nationals were interested in adding an outfielder.

"That's something that I'm not focused on right now," Taylor said. "I feel like with my game if I go out there and be the best I can that's really all I can do and kind of see where the chips fall after that."