The Boston Red Sox have been making moves all day, as they have now made three major moves today. According to a report from Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the club has reached an agreement on a one-year deal with first baseman Mitch Moreland, pending a physical examination. He's the team's third addition of the day, behind Tyler Thornburg and Chris Sale.
Per a report from Jon Morosi, shortly after Rosenthal's report of the one-year agreement, Moreland will recieve a salary of $5.5 million for the 2017 season. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports originally reported that the deal was for a little bit over $5 million.
It is no surprise that Boston was the team that ended up landing the services of the 31-year-old first baseman. A few moments before the agreement was reported, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweeted out that there was "some strong" buzz involving Moreland to the Red Sox "in the lobby at the Winter Meetings hotel."
The Red Sox had been reportedly looking for a first baseman that hits left-handed and they have found that in Moreland. The American League East is full of right-handed pitchers, so a lefty in the lineup definitely benefits them to an extent. Moreland will likely take over the team's starting first base duties and power-hitter Hanley Ramirez will likely slot into the designated hitter role, replacing the legendary David Ortiz, who retired following the 2016 season.
The Red Sox were not alone in their pursuit of Moreland. According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Cleveland Indians were also in the mix to sign him, as his former team — Texas Rangers — were considered "out" of the running in his sweepstakes. With the team losing out on Moreland, Cleveland will have to turn elsewhere to find someone to fill their vacancy at first base, which was left by free agent Mike Napoli.
Moreland had a pretty successful 2015 campaign, which saw him slash .278/.330/.482 with 23 home runs, 27 doubles and 85 runs batted in. However, his production plummeted a bit in 2016, as he posted a slash line of .233/.298/.422 over 503 plate appearances, along with 22 home runs, 21 doubles and 60 runs batted in. He also managed to strikeout more times per plate appearances, but also walk more times per plate appearances last season, while recording a .307 wOBA and a 87 wRC+, en route to a 0.4 fWAR.null