Welcoming new Red Sox 1B Mitch Moreland on a one year deal
The Red Sox replacement for David Ortiz for 2017 is Mitch Moreland. While he comes to the Sox on a relatively team friendly contract worth $5.5 million for one season, it’s hard to see this anything short of a bargain. Moreland made $5.7 million last season but a drop off in production made his value slightly fall. Will he put David Ortiz numbers? No. But for 1/3 of what Ortiz is getting paid we’re going to get about 2/3 the production. Moreland hasn’t received a contract for longer than one season. Moreland could show that he’s worth more than a one year contract with his 2017 campaign.
Back in 2009, the Red Sox were willing to give the then Adrian Beltre a one year deal worth $9 million guaranteed. Beltre, was a bust in 2009 and some saw him as not worth the money but he rewarded the Fenway Faithful by putting up a slash of .321/28/102 including 49 doubles. The year before? Beltre looked done, putting up a .265/8/44 line with an on base percentage of .304.
Sometimes a change of scenery is all a player needs to rejuvenate their career. I think not resigning Adrian Beltre was one of the biggest mistakes that Red Sox management has made. Since leaving Boston for Texas, Beltre has, in the last six seasons, surpassed the .300 average mark four times, hit 30+ home runs four times and surpassed 100+ RBI’s three times. Well worth the gamble for Texas. Who did the Red Sox get in 2011? We got Adrian Gonzalez at the cost of future All Star and World Series Champion Anthony Rizzo and Carl Crawford who busted harder than Barry Zito in San Francisco (7/$126 million) or Josh Hamilton in Texas (5/$125 million) Ouch.
Mitch Moreland has been able to crack the 22+ home run number three times in the last four seasons. I would call that a pretty consistent performance. I’m hoping that playing for a contender brings out the best in him. That would be a huge bonus for the Sox. Moreland will be playing in a better offense as well so I’m expecting his numbers to go up especially, his RBI output. It’d be nice to see 20+ home runs this season as well. I’m thinking or hoping rather, that Moreland goes .274/20/71 this year which would be a big improvement from 2016 and potentially earn him a nice contract somewhere.
Moreland, now 30, is playing for his second team in his career. He’s also at the stage where he could begin to go from team to team if he can show up this season. I’m not entirely convinced that the Red Sox are set with our current team. We know Panda is at 3rd, Pedey is at 2nd, the X Factor is over at Short, and Moreland is at 1st. Brock Holt is someone who can play any position in the infield and outfield and is worth retaining for that reason alone.
Assuming Holt can stay healthy, I’d say the Sox still need to get one more bat for the infield. I don’t think we should go out and pick up a big bat since we’re already bleeding prospects. If we can get another bargain type free agent before the season starts, I’d say we’d be in great shape in the hitting department.
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