Blockbuster Fielder Trade, Does It Make Moreland A Target?
Let me start by saying, if you haven't heard about the blockbuster deal of Fielder for Ian Kinsler then have another drink on me.
It's unfortunate that as a Mets fan, instead of saying boy I hope we do something bold like that, I wonder about the guy that wasn't quite good enough on the other end of the trade: Mitch Moreland.
When asked about what the acquisition of Fielder might mean for the future of Mitch Moreland, Daniels insisted that he is still very much a part of the club's plans. While Moreland would have value to other teams after belting a career-high 23 homers in 2013, Daniels said that he values his bat just as much. First base is no longer open for Moreland, but he can still find playing time in the outfield or at DH. "We're not giving up on the guy," Daniels said.
To me that's just smart GM talk. I can't help but think that a team willing to spend what they have on Fielder now, will head into the season with Moreland as basically the only DH and possibly trot him out in the OF again which dangerously using UZR for such a limited sample gives you a disastrous attempt at RF. Moreland's only position is 1B, one that is completely covered up as well as much of 2B by the wide body of Fielder. In a market where Duda and Davis seem to have value and perhaps Murphy coveted, I can't help but think that Moreland could have decent value for the Rangers as well.
I expect the Rangers aren't done. They aren't going to spend this money on Fielder and say lets go. They will be in a market for a OF/DH and Beltran sure does seem to fit exactly what they need but that's a side point. Could you imagine Andrus, Profar, Beltran, Fielder, Beltre, Rios, Soto, Gentry, Martin... to be a Rangers fan.
Regardless, sticking with Moreland as the permanent DH reeks of an Omarian type move of get the big name and then don't finish the job. So I expect Daniels was doing what any GM would do, sell his player.
So what does that mean for the Mets, one I think it decreases the value of the Mets plethora of LH 1B. Two, I think it gives the Mets an opportunity to trade from their pitching depth for a trade of something like Familia and a prospect for Moreland. I honestly have no idea what his value will be yet so don't get riled up on that one yet.
Now the better question is outside of Texas is Moreland any better than what we have. That's a loaded question. As a Mets fan, I like to think that Davis has more potential than Moreland, perhaps even Duda as well. However, it goes back to this is the guy who is producing vs the guy who could produce but hasn't been.
So far this is what you are going to get from Moreland:
.253 .318 .440 .758 with somewhere between 15-25 HR over a full season. Last year the average and OBP were down but the HR were up.
.232 .299 .437 .736 with 23 HR.
As for his splits between Texas and away, it's not a Choo like split to say the least. He's a career .777 guy at home and a career .740 guy away. Considering much of those away games are played in not so friendly parks in the AL West and the fact that he actually hit better last year on the road, I don't consider that an issue.
The 2013 version of Lucas Duda hit:
.223 .352 .415 .767 so there for sure is a give an take between the two with Moreland hitting for more power and Duda walking for MUCH more. Using UZR for 1B actually kind of makes me hate the stat but if you do, Moreland edges Duda out but not by a landslide. Last year it was 4.6 for Moreland and 3.1 for Duda.
So are they too similar of a player to even worry about? In terms of team control, Moreland could be a FA after 2016, Duda after 2017.
Back to the point, I am not sure that Moreland is a fit for the Mets, but I think his availability means that the trade value of the Mets players will take a hit. Alderson may need to move quickly before the Rangers have time to start getting his name out there.