3. Mitch Moreland
The Padres declined the $3MM option on Mitch Moreland‘s contract back in November, making Moreland a free agent.
It was a tale of two seasons for Moreland, hitting .328 with a 1.177 OPS and eight home runs in just 22 games for the Red Sox earlier in the year. Then he was traded to San Diego at the deadline and hit just .203 with a .609 OPS and two home runs in 20 games for the Padres.
It makes sense why the Padres wouldn’t want him back after that, but his overall numbers on the year are still strong.
Moreland has been a pretty consistent offensive presence in his career, posting a career .252/.320/.448 slash line over his 11 seasons. He’ll provide somewhere between 15-25 home runs a season and will be a slightly above league average bat.
At this point in his career, the 35 year old Moreland is more likely a platoon option at first base against right-handed pitchers.
Because Moreland is a lefty bat, he’s not an ideal platoon partner with Vogelbach, who’s currently on the roster. If things change and the DH is allowed in the NL next year, then Moreland becomes a far better fit on the roster.
There’s a glut of left-handed first base/DH-type hitters to fill a platoon on the market, which is likely to suppress Moreland’s salary demands. He might not get much more than what his $3MM option was on the open market.
That makes him affordable for the Brewers.
Most of these players might wait to sign until there is more clarity on the DH being in the NL next year.
Most of the options on the market are going to be one-year stopgap fixes at the position. If they want a long-term solution, a trade is the most likely route. If they can’t get one in a trade, a free agent like one of these three players make the most sense.