Moreland, 34, has been in Boston since the start of 2017. On the whole, he’s been a little better than average at the plate, combining for a .251/.332/.471 line (108 wRC+). He has been on an absolute tear this season, though, blasting eight home runs in 79 plate appearances en route to a .328/.430/.746 slash. Moreland has always hit the ball hard, generally avoided strikeouts and drawn his fair share of walks.
Like incumbent Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer, Moreland’s a left-handed bat, but he could complement right-handed hitting DH Ty France. Thanks in part to strong contributions from Hosmer and France, San Diego’s lineup has been among the best in baseball this season. Moreland is owed the balance of his $925K prorated salary and comes with an affordable $3MM club option for 2021.
In exchange, Boston picks up a pair of well-regarded prospects. Both Potts and Rosario were included among Baseball America’s top 30 Padre farmhands midseason. Potts, a 21-year-old third baseman, draws praise for his big-time raw power and comes with a first-round pedigree, but some scouts question his bat-to-ball skills. He performed well in the low minors, but scuffled a bit last season, when he hit .227/.290/.406 with a 28.6% strikeout rate in Double-A. In fairness, Potts was very young for that level, and the Texas League’s an extremely pitcher-friendly environment regardless.
Rosario, 20, was a high-priced international signee from the Pads’ vaunted 2016 J2 class. He draws ample praise for his athleticism and center field defense, although it’s up in the air how much impact he’ll make offensively despite seemingly exceptional plate discipline. Rosario has topped out at the High-A level, where he hit .242/.372/.314 with three home runs in 525 plate appearances.
All told, it’s a pretty strong haul for Boston, especially since Moreland’s fantastic start hadn’t helped propel them past an 11-22 record. That said, roster rules help explain why the Padres were willing to part with both players. Each needs to be added to the 40-man this offseason or else be exposed to the Rule V draft. The Pads, who continue to progress their swath of strong prospects to the high minors and above, have a seeming roster crunch incoming. The Red Sox, on the other hand, don’t have a particularly well-regarded farm system and can more easily find roster space for Potts and Rosario this offseason.
To clear immediate space for the prospects in their 60-man player pool, Boston released infielder Marco Hernández. The 27-year-old amassed a .265/.300/.342 line in parts of three seasons in Boston.