With the blockbuster trade for Prince Fielder the Texas Rangers will need to do something with Mitch Moreland. Moreland made $502 k last year, which is just a drop in the bucket compared to his replacement. Will the Texas Rangers find a spot for the 28 year old first baseman/right fielder?
So far, that list includes Craig Gentry, Jim Adduci and of course Mitch Moreland. But why Moreland? Moreland does have experience in the outfield. Over his 4 years in Texas so far, he has played right field in 45 games, most of them coming in 2011 (34). Over his minor league career, Moreland played again, primarily at first, but several time in right field (181 games) and just a handful of times in left (4 games). So Moreland does have experience in the outfield. There could be an option for him to take over hole that Nelson Cruz will probably leave and play in right field. Then Jon Daniels could keep Leonys Martin in center and put Craig Gentry in left-field. Also, there is Alex Rios, who will probably remain in right.
Sep 18, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland (18) points to second baseman Jurickson Profar (13) (not pictued) after they both scored runs during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Should the Rangers try to keep Mitch Moreland? After his hamstring injury in June last season, he wasn’t the same. Prior to the injury, he was playing well batting a .266/.319/.487/.806, but after the injury when he return, it took a sharp decline at .183/.273/.366/.639 and finished season with .233/.301/.438/.739. His season batting average was among the lowest in the league for qualifying batting averages.
"“Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said he has received inquiries from several clubs as to the availability of first baseman Mitch Moreland. Daniels said those clubs share the Rangers’ belief that Moreland can improve off this year’s showing. He hit .232 with 23 homers and 60 RBIs in 462 at-bats” (Gerry Fraley – SportsDay DFW)"
If Moreland doesn’t play in the outfield, more than likely he will be traded. There were some reports after the Kinsler/Fielder deal, that the Tampa Bay Rays are interested in Mitch Moreland. There currently is no indication what a possible trade might be.
So where will Moreland end up? If the Texas Rangers don’t make a play for an outfielder, then quite possibly he’ll stay play right field. But I feel like he might be dealt and traded away. If he doesn’t go to the Rays, he could end up as a Milwaukee Brewer, they are currently looking for a first baseman. It is rumored the Brewers would give up Norichika Aoki (outfielder) for the first baseman. Either way things happen, Moreland will be moving some where.