On the eve of Major League Baseball's 2020 trading deadline, former Mississippi State slugger Mitch Moreland is headed to the West.
Moreland, in the midst of an outstanding year with the Boston Red Sox, was traded to the San Diego Padres on Sunday. The Padres become the third MLB franchise Moreland has played for after being with the Texas Rangers from 2010 through 2016 and with the Red Sox since. San Diego sent a pair of prospects – infielder Hudson Potts and outfielder Jepson Rosario – to Boston in the deal.
Moreland takes a red-hot bat with him to San Diego. He was leading the Red Sox in home runs (eight), RBI (21), batting average (.328), on-base (.430) and slugging percentage (.746), along with 14 runs scored. His 1.177 OPS ranks 2nd among all Major League hitters this season (min. 60 AB), trailing only Washington's Juan Soto (1.212). Moreland has reached base safely in 18 of his 22 games played while making 19 starts at first base and three as the designated hitter.
In San Diego, it seems likely that Moreland's primary role might come as a designated hitter. Veteran Eric Hosmer is the usual first baseman of the Padres.
Moreland played for Mississippi State from 2005 through 2007. He was then selected by the Texas Rangers in the 17th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Moreland is a career .253 hitter (954-for-3773) with 203 doubles, eight triples, 174 home runs, 491 runs scored and 580 RBI across 11 Major League seasons between the Rangers (2010-16) and Red Sox (2017-20). The Amory, Mississippi, native has played in the postseason in seven of the last 10 years, winning the American League pennant with Texas in 2010 and 2011 and a World Series Championship with Boston in 2018. The 6-3, 245-pound left-handed hitter has slugged .581 (8-for-31, 2B, 3 HR) in 12 World Series games. He earned his first career All-Star Game selection in 2018 and won the AL Rawlings Gold Glove award at first base in 2016. Moreland just reached 10 years of Major League service time on Saturday.
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