The off-season is well underway and teams are starting to figure out things for the 2017 season. Mitch Moreland is one piece many teams, including the Texas Rangers have on their charts when considering how to fill out the roster. Moreland’s contract is now up, meaning he’s a free-agent who could potentially land a deal worth about 7 million a year. He made about 5.7 million last season with the Rangers.
Over the past 2 season in my opinion Moreland’s stock has continued to climb. He’s proven he can hit for power, and play some solid defense at first base. I think his defense is very good at first base, especially when you consider that he was basically supposed to be utility guy until Prince Fielder was plagued with injuries.
Moreland’s defensive skills were noticed this season when he won his first Gold Glove, which is voted on by the American League managers and coaches. Teams can’t vote for their own players. With that said, that means it’s a pretty huge honor to win the award.
“I’m happier for [Moreland] than me,” Beltre said. “The last couple years he has played such great defense, and it wasn’t recognized.” – Gerry Fraley Sport Day (Dallas News)
Besides his defensive skills at first base, Mitch Moreland has done very well at the plate last season. In 2015 he had a batting line of .278/.330/.482/.812 with 27 doubles, 23 home runs and 85 RBI. His numbers were a bit down in 2016 with a batting line of .233 .298 .422 .720 with 21 doubles, 22 home runs and 60 RBI.
That now brings up the question of should the Texas Rangers re-sign him? It should be noted that the team didn’t extend him a qualifying offer. But, that doesn’t mean they won’t try to re-sign him.
Besides Moreland, the Rangers do have a few other options for first base. Such as going on the open market for first base free agents such as Mike Napoli, Adam Lind, and Ryan Howard. I doubt those are even truly on the radar for the Rangers.
Jon Daniels was recently said the he’d love to see Moreland return, but the team’s focus is currently on pitching and center field. Also, that they are considering some internal options at first base such as Ryan Rua or Jurickson Profar.
If that’s their plan, then in my opinion I think they should try to keep Mitch Moreland. If they do bring him back I don’t want them to overpay. I do want Mitch Moreland to get what he deserves and not feel like he has to give them a home team discount. He’s played well and has proven his value. He’s proven he can hit for power, drive in runs, play first base and he’s a great guy in the clubhouse
It seems like people either hate or love him. I’m one of the ones that love watching Moreland play for the Rangers. I feel like each time he comes up to the plate he gives the Texas Rangers a chance to score. It’s hard to feel that way about every player.
I don’t think it will take long for Moreland’s agent to start getting some calls from either the Texas Rangers or another team. But, honestly I don’t think the Rangers will be the first one to be calling his agent.
I think they’ll strongly consider him, but will likely go for someone internally to fill the position. My guess is the Rangers will place Jurickson Profar at first base. Mainly because he’ll come cheap, has a lot of talent, only 22 years old, and isn’t a free-agent until the 2020 season. I think he has a lot higher of a ceiling than Moreland, but he could be used in a trade this off season to help the Rangers pitching staff. If you’re like me, I’m excited to see what happens and very ready for spring training.