The Padres are planning to decline their $3MM club option on Mitch Moreland, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan (Twitter link). The veteran first baseman will instead receive a $500K buyout and hit free agency. The Padres have confirmed the move.
San Diego gave up a pair of well-regarded prospects, outfielder Jeisson Rosario and infielder Hudson Potts, to acquire Moreland from the Red Sox before the August 31 trade deadline. Both Rosario and Potts would’ve had to be added to the 40-man roster or else be exposed to the Rule 5 draft this offseason. Freeing up roster space to protect each player figures to be easier for Boston than it would’ve been for the Padres, who have quite a few top prospects who’ll need roster space in the coming months. Nevertheless, losing Rosario and Potts looks like a hefty price to pay for one month of Moreland’s services.
Unfortunately, Moreland underwhelmed after the trade. While he got off to a scorching start in Boston, the 35-year-old put up subpar numbers in San Diego. A down 73 plate appearances surely hasn’t completely soured the Padres’ front office on Moreland’s ability, though. Overall, the left-handed hitter put up a fantastic .265/.342/.551 line between the two clubs.
As Chris Cotillo of MassLive points out (on Twitter), the uncertainty regarding the status of the designated hitter likely played a part in today’s decision. Eric Hosmer would likely have gotten the lion’s share of time at first base even if he had continued to perform at the unspectacular levels he’d managed between 2018-19. The 31-year-old Hosmer looked reinvigorated at the plate in 2020, cementing himself as an everyday player.
With the designated hitter available to NL teams in 2020, Hosmer and Moreland each had opportunity for playing time last season. Like all the other rule changes necessitated by the pandemic-impacted season, the universal DH was only approved for last season. While there’s long been an expectation the universal DH could become permanent under the terms of the next collective bargaining agreement, there’s no guarantee it’ll be in place for 2021.
Moreland will now join a first base market that doesn’t have many clear everyday options. He’ll probably attract a fair bit of interest, particularly if the NL does adopt the DH in the coming months. It’s a bit of a red flag the Padres resorted to declining his option, though. Presumably, the front office looked for a potential trade partner over the past five days and didn’t find a team willing to give up assets to bring Moreland aboard at a low price.
That is a mistake, although it’s understandable because he will not have enough playing time in San Diego. He could possibly earn more in free agency. Moreland should return to the Rangers or Red Sox.
I would have liked to see the Padres pick up this option, but I don’t really know how much more he’s going to get on the open market. This looks like a terrible year to be a FA.
Realmuto/Springer/Bauer types at the top of the market will probably be fine, but depth pieces like Moreland are probably going to have a hard time in this market just based on what we know so far with no one claiming Hand at 1Y/$10M and all the options we are seeing getting declined…
Rangers are not even close to becoming a contending team so the interest is not reciprocated either way. Same could almost be said about the BoSox.
If he can earn more in FA they should have exercised their option and then flipped him to the team that would have signed him.
I doubt Boston has space/need.
You’ve got Casas coming along soon to join Chavis, Dalbec, and Devers for corner IF spots.
Given the errors, might be time to at least THINK about Dalbec at 3B, Devers at 1B, Chavis as depth, and rethink when Casas is ready.
Moreland was terrible not worth $3M
Padres will also release Greg Garcia, Jason Castro, Garrett, Profar, and two others before Dec. 1, 2020.
No mistake he hit a terrible .209 for the Padres, rather have a rook come up and fill the spot.
I am surprised the Padres declined this. I thought the plan was to pick up the option, a $2.5mm decision. And hope that some other team has a need at 1b/DH, then trade him.
Perhaps the Padres thought this was too risky. Perhaps SD is right to think that. There will be a lot of free agents available.
Especially 1b/do types
Maybe SD had younger players to fill the 40-man roster spots and had no room for a mid 30s, nearing retirement, fellow lefty to Hosmer.
He’s not worth the $2.5M difference, he’s past his prime
I think they did this because of the uncertainty with the NL DH next year.
What happens if there is no DH?
Where do you play him?
You DH him in all the games at AL teams, PH him in every other game since you’ll have to hit for the pitcher, and then work him in at 1B every once in a while to keep Hosmer fresh. Won’t get him like 600 PA, but you could probably get him 250-300 that way and then you have an insurance policy at 1B in case something happens to Hosmer.
I agree though, if they knew they would have the DH slot, I think they’re way more likely to pick this up.
That makes sense.
But wouldn’t you rather use that bench spot on someone who could play multiple positions than just 1st? Teams really can’t afford to have two 1st base only players on a team.
I would rather them use this money to resign Profar who can still come off the bench but play all over the field
I think if your second 1B only guy is really more of a pinch hitter/DH then you can do it. Whether it’s universal DH or pinch hitting you really need someone you can count on to hit out of that bench role.
In a perfect world they would have money and roster spots for both Profar and Moreland again since they clearly fill different roles, but I think it’s more likely they let them both walk and spend what little FA dollars they are willing to spend on the bullpen.
Bench spots are too valuable to carry a left handed 1B only guy, backing up a left handed 1B only guy.
Profar is gone he wants three yrs. no way. His overall stats show a high risk player, maybe sign him to one yr.
Man. If you’re a veteran making more than league minimum, you have about a 90% chance of being jobless…
This would have me believe that the DH will not be used in the NL for 2021.
Why would you say that? All this means is that they can re-sign him or any of the 30 guys almost exactly like him that will available in February to a minor league deal.
They already announced there won’t be a dh in the NL in 2021. There’s a chance it will return in 2022.
The Red Sox need a left handed hitter off the bench, and a lefty to compliment Dalbec. I feel strongly that he will resign with the Red Sox. It would be the 4th time he has signed or resigned with them.
..they need a lot more than that….
This not knowing about the universal DH is just plain lunacy for NL GMs; it’s not even remotely fair. “Well, NFL teams, we might allow punting on 4th down next year, but we might not”.
Ducky Buckin Fent
See, now I could get behind that rule.
It’d be like the football games we played during recess.
I doubt it.
Bloom would rather a young lottery ticket with upside than an aged tail end of career vet with limited flexibility.
Think lots of perazas and no morelands.
This just goes to the uncertainty of Universal DH. MLB won’t say anything and there are deadlines to exercising or declining these options. I read a story about how frustrated GMs are with this. I guess SD can always re-sign him if league leaves DH in.
Manfred said the other day it wouldn’t be back
He said it would be gone with an agreement with MLBPA. They might need one considering health and financial issues that will still be there prior to ST.
He said it would be gone unless there’s an agreement with MLBPA. They might need one considering health and financial issues that will still be there prior to ST.
He’s old enough so that it’s possible that this is both a roster-clearing move and a cost-savings move (although the difference is less than 1.5M even if they find a MLB minimum player.) But the movement towards players who are not only cheap but also have positional flexibility inevitably is going to lead to more Moreland-like players having to look for jobs.
This is a telling sign for a team like the Padres to decline such a cheap option for such a good player. I think the finances for many teams are gonna be like this because of COVID and the lost revenue from having no fans attend games and losing 102 games for every team league wide.
Plus it’s unsure if any, or at least many, fans will even be able to attend in 2021 too.
Teams need to factor in the strong possibility that stands will be empty/near-empty next season as well.
And if you’re expecting the possibility that your 2021 revenue will be about half what it should normally be…
Padres fans and the media really hyped up Preller just for making moves. When will people learn that making moves in quantity does not equal quality? Potts and Rosario may not be anything special but they warrant more than this.
Remember those guys were going to take up a roster spot after this year, or else the Padres risked losing them in the Rule 5 draft. I think Preller made the move primarily because he had to get rid of those prospects before they lose value this offseason.
@dan55 they could have had space for both if they hadn’t put Luis Campusano and Ryan Weathers on the 40-man roster.
After that trade I remember Preller talked about how they didn’t want a rental and there was future value with Moreland because of his option, but then if you decline his option you effectively make him a rental.
20/20 hindsight, but it does seem like a letdown of a trade now.
Yeah, I was kind of disappointed in the trade when it happened, because I wanted the Padres to just use Ty France as the DH, but I understand that those prospects would probably get picked up in the Rule 5 draft, so I don’t think it’s that much of a letdown.
Potts and Rosario both looked good in the alternative teams site games (most were online). San Diego probably would have lost them in the Rule 5 draft. Potts, although a 3B man, looked pretty good at 2B and hit better than Jeter Downs.
Neither one was at USD. At all.
Potts might turn out to be good. Preller moves at deadline made big splash but essentially did nothing unless beating Cardinals in WC is your cup of tea. Preller is so overhyped
BOth would have been unprotected on Rule 5 coming up in Dec. Both at best sub par players.
Quite your complaining AJ got us to the second round of the playoffs, first time in 20 yrs. Potts and Rosario will never stick in the Bigs
Yeah, I thought this was going to happen. Moreland’s a solid player, but there are going to be a lot of players like him available this offseason. Plus the Padres don’t really need a lefty first baseman with Hosmer already getting paid $20 million next year.
Also, the Padres are better off using this money to re-sign Profar, who has the versatility to play all over the field and is a better hitter.
Profar has bad stats overall, better to let him go to another team for three yrs.
There’s better options in trades and FA.
This is more about rule 5 picks than it is about Moreland. Rosario and Hudson Potts were both going to be Rule 5 eligible and would of not made the team. Likewise the Padres have several people Rule 5 eligible that they want to protect rather than picking up Moreland. So actually great move by Preller, stop looking surface deep about his moves.
Could have had space for both if they hadn’t put Luis Campusano and Ryan Weathers on the 40-man roster.
The thing with that is they absolutely expected Campusano and Weathers to get to the roster in 2021, so if you don’t add them this year and then add Potts/Rosario to the 40 man this offseason eventually in 2021 you’re going to need those roster spots anyways. Then what do you do, DFA Potts/Rosario?
I guess my point is, if for 2021 you have 1 single 40 man spot for Rosario and Weathers for example, it’s not like you can protect Rossario in the Rule 5 and then everything after that is fine. At some point in 2021 you have to get Weathers or Gore or whoever into that 40 man slot.
The risk of course is that something awful happens to one of those guys, like with Campusano getting arrested for a felony, and now the spot is burnt and it’s completely blown up in their face.
@CNichols they don’t know that Campy and Weathers are going to make the team out of ST in 2021! And in Campy’s case it now looks extremely unlikely.
Campy and Weathers could have attended major league ST next year as non-roster invitees and made the club out of Spring Training if they deserved it. Spots could be cleared for them by adding injured players to the 60-day IL, which doesn’t exist during the offseason. If you don’t have any injured players you can make a trade. And because you don’t have the clock of a Rule 5 draft ticking, you have much more leverage in that trade.
Campy getting arrested is a perfect example of why putting him on the 40-man roster was stupid. You have the downside of having to commit a 40-man roster spot to him throughout the whole thing. And for what gain? Remember that they only got 4 PA’s out of Campy and 4 outs out of Weathers.
…or maybe the Red Sox would not trade Moreland to the Padres unless they got Potts and Rosario….just like they refused to take Myers in the Betts negotiations
…Just a different side of the conversation…
@LV96 not sure what that has to do with my comment. And obviously they weren’t going to take the overpaid clubhouse cancer Myers in the Betts trade. Why should they?
I agree with you that SD could have had space for both if the SD front office had handled the 40-man correctly, but maybe Potts and Rosario were just the price for getting Moreland (rather than SD acting like there was no room). Just a thought.
Another question I had….why did SD feel they needed Moreland in the first place? I thought they had a pretty good offense or am I mistaken (I do not follow SD as close as the AL teams)?
People keep defending the trade on the grounds that the Padres were going to lose them to the Rule 5 draft anyway. I don’t work in the Padres’ FO so I don’t know that they were traded specifically because they were Rule 5 eligible but that excuse doesn’t work considering how Preller wasted roster spots on Campusano and Weathers.
Evidently they wanted another lefty bat for their lineup and Moreland was who they ended up getting.
Ehh, there was no way the Padres could have known that they were going to call up Weathers. That was the result of a freak situation where both of their aces got injured right before the playoffs. The campusano call up was a mistake though.
Whether they knew it or not they had to have had some idea how much use they’d get out of the guy. Were 1.1 innings really worth wasting that roster spot? Don’t say they’re gonna have to add him eventually because if they had waited, adding him would have been much easier due to the 60-day IL or having more time to work out a trade if nobody is injured enough to go on the 60-day IL.
C’s veteran types are a dime a dozen on the FA market.
this is the right move. Moreland is worth the $2.5 mil net decision and might get more from someone else, but SD has nowhere to play him and 1B aee generally hard to market in trades unless they’re really good.
No if he is worth the $2.5m option decision and might get more from someone else as you say the smart play would have been to exercise him option then trade him to that someone else.
what im saying is he might be good at that cost, but because he’s a 1B people may not want to give up an asset to trade for him, and the Padres may not want to deal with the hastle of having to trade him if they have no intention of keeping him.
You said he’s worth the $2.5m net decision and might get more from somewhere else. When you have a player like that, even if you don’t want him, you don’t decline your option, you exercise it and then trade him. This does 2 things: 1. Takes you off the hook for the buyout and 2. Allows you to at least get back something for losing him.
Wrong goat man, who is going to want a 36 yr old hitter who flopped the last two months, no body. Bring up a rook to fill the spot can’t do any worse. I’d play Myers at first when LH pitchers start the game.
What are you going to get in a trade for Moreland, a bag of peanuts LOL
exercise his* option
MLB really should have made a decision on the NL DH before the option decision deadline rolled around.
It’s absolutely absurd that teams are having to make decisions like this without knowing if there will be a DH in the NL next season. Absurd.
A little shocking. Cheap money if you’re going to contend, and easy to flip at the deadline if you need something else. Solid piece on a contending team
The “they were going to lose them to the Rule 5 draft” excuse doesn’t work when they wasted roster spots on 4 PA’s from Luis Campusano and 1.1 IP from Ryan Weathers, neither of whom was about to be Rule 5 eligible.
Someone should have told Preller that Camp was going to get hurt and maybe he wouldn’t have used him! Really guys, Moreland was obtained for 2 prospects they were highly at risk of not making team for the sole purpose of helping for a right now playoff push. Don’t forget while he Is supposedly such a great investment – he failed in SD. Also, it isn’t MLB that can just institute the DH. Players association has to agree and don’t we all remember how well these two sides get along for any quick decisions?
They got 4 outs from Weathers and 4 PA’s from Campy. They’d have been just as well fortified for the postseason without them and they could have then given those roster spots to guys who actually needed them. Like Potts and Rosario.
Potts and Rosario are less than 5% prospects.
I really wish Moreland all the best , I personally believe that (1) Moreland could be a major asset to the Padres in the next season , we as fans need to understand Mitch came over to the Padres in a game shorten season and was expected to learn the new scheme super quick and being a victim of Moneyball it was like expecting the goose laying the Golden egg – and Mitch just couldn’t lay the Golden egg so now the Padres are buying out his option…This Moneyball BS needs to be stopped . The players are getting way overpaid for attitudes that belong in sandlot ball if anywhere. I can see only MAYBE 1/2 dozen players deserving of the huge contracts.ex..Machado , Tatis JR. , to name a couple .
Think about the superstars of the past – Pete Rose, Bob Gibson , Johnny Bench , Tony Perez , and so on…their contracts was no where in universe of these players and yet the past players played circles around the “Spoils of now” .
I could go about this Moneyball crap is ruining a National Past time like this COVID-19 is killing Americans .
What the hell are you talking about? Moreland couldn’t adjust after the trade. Letting players go happens all the time. This is nothing new.
Seriously what is up with that comment? There is no insightful analysis. It’s possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.
You think that Moreland is the first player that has been cut loose after a mid season trade? Sweetie, it happens every year. Moreland doesn’t figure into the Padres future. No analysis is needed. He didn’t hit. What more do you need? Why would you want to keep him on the 40 man, or 25 man rosters? These type of trades happen all the time.
It’s not Moneyball … there exists today an evolutionary result started way back when. Perhaps you’re confusing the use of analytics?
Bad analogy Moreland was a flop
Wrong Moreland was terrible a waste of money and time
Y’all have too much of a fixation on Rule 5 eligibility. First, how many Rule 5 guys get taken each year? Around 10-18 each year. Only 11 in 2019. How many stick?
Bringing up Campusano and Weathers was fine. Who is the most notable possible Rule 5 eligible right now? Tucupta Marcano, Estuery Ruiz, Tirso Orneles and Reggie Lawson (coming off TJ). The likelihood of any of them getting selected is virtually non-existent.
Your numbers are off. 42 were taken in 2019. Not all need to be on ML rosters
The Rockies, not a club exactly known for their farm depth, lost 5 guys in that draft who have not been returned. That is what poor roster management produces, and what the Padres would be in for
Brain dead Preller at his best
AJ got us in the playoffs, maybe your the one who has to check mental ability.
Wild Card playoffs over 1/2 teams made postseason wow. They went on to get waxed by Dodgers. Those trades amounted to nothing at deadline. Hudson Potts will be heard from watch now buried with bad contracts the Preller regime strikes again
Potts will never stick in the Bigs, AJ got us to the second round, first time in 20 yrs. stop your whining.
2nd round lol. Over 1/2 the teams made postseason and they beat a weak .500 team in their park big deal. They went on to get demolished by Dodgers
Potts won’t stick just like Max Fried, Trea Turner, and Margot