In 2014, Mitch Moreland will be on the move, but where. Moreland could end up being traded before the season. Several clubs such as the Tampa Bay Rays, Pittsburgh Pirate and even the Milwaukee Brewers have shown interest in him.
The Texas Rangers haven’t made any decisions on him at this point, but T.R. Sullivan pointed out in his recent article the following
"“Moreland is currently the leading candidate to be Texas’ designated hitter, and the Rangers aren’t going to discard him as a non-tender even though he’ll likely get a raise from $502,000 to $2.5-3 million in 2014.” (MLB.com)"
Is Mitch Moreland the best DH option? After his hamstring injury in June last season, he wasn’t able to bounce back.
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.
Aug 19, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland (18) hits a two run RBI double against the Houston Astros during the third inning of a baseball game at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Daniels and the Texas Rangers do have some other options for the DH position. Prince Fielder could be the DH and that would allow someone like Adam Rosales to play first. Fielder has managed to handle first base during his career, but the Texas Rangers need someone solid in the DH spot.
Another option would be to sign Mike Napoli, place him at first, and Fielder at the DH. Napoli did have a down year at the plate, but he has played very well in Texas. That might be because he plays that Angels for 19 games and always enjoys to torment Mike Scioscia. Over his career he has batted .350/.457/.723/1.180 with 10 doubles and 13 home runs.
The Rangers also could sign Nelson Cruz and put him in as the DH and leave Alex Rios in right. Rios was a good late-season acquisition last year. He batted .280/.315/.457/.772 with 11 doubles. 2 triples and 6 home runs with the Rangers over 47 games.
Normally, when I think of the DH, I think of someone who is able to hit and bring in runs. Mitch Moreland, to me, doesn’t fit the mold of a designated hitter. He did play first base well with a fielding percentage of .996, above the league average of .994, but the Texas Rangers need offense in 2014. They lacked it in the stretch, now for the past 2 years. Moreland is a fine ball player, but with first base taken by Fielder, he won’t be at first and probably not at the DH.