Red Sox trade Moreland to Padres for 2 prospects

  • Boston Red Sox's Mitch Moreland, right, is greeted at home plate by J.D. Martinez (28) after hitting a three-run home run off Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Miguel Castro during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Baltimore. The Red Sox won 7-1. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts scored on the home run. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Julio Cortez

  • Boston Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland, left, steps on the bag while Baltimore Orioles' Andrew Velazquez makes a head first slide while trying to beat a ground out during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Julio Cortez

  • Boston Red Sox's Chris Mazza, left, makes a throwing error to Mitch Moreland on a single by Washington Nationals' Juan Soto during the third inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Michael Dwyer

AP Sports Writer
Published: 8/30/2020 3:33:04 PM

DENVER (AP) — The struggling Boston Red Sox became sellers at the looming trade deadline after entering Sunday in last place in the AL East. Boston traded slugger Mitch Moreland to San Diego on Sunday for two prospects, outfielder Jeisson Rosario and infielder Hudson Potts.

“We basically felt, given where we stand and where we are in 2020, and then the importance of depth and talent in the farm system, that there was a level of talent (in return) where it made sense to move him,” Boston chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said.

It’s the second straight day the Padres have made a splashy move as they try to make the postseason for the first time since 2006. They currently have the second-most wins in the NL, trailing only division rival Los Angeles. On Saturday, they bolstered their bullpen by acquiring Trevor Rosenthal in a trade with the Kansas City Royals.

Moreland adds even more power to an already potent San Diego lineup. On top of that, he brings big-game experience. He’s been in the postseason in seven of his past 10 seasons.

“Being able to add his makeup, character, that will blend in really well into this clubhouse,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. “There’s a positive buzz, energy going around.”

Asked if general manager A.J. Preller might be done, Tingler responded: “I would say we’ll wait and see. .. He doesn’t sleep and he’s relentless.”

Moreland, who turns 35 on Sept. 6, was leading the Red Sox with eight homers, 21 RBIs and a .328 batting average. He’s made 19 starts at first base this season and three more as a designated hitter.

Tingler envisions Moreland being in the lineup as a DH and spelling first baseman Eric Hosmer.

Moreland earned his lone All-Star selection in 2018, the same season he helped the Red Sox win a World Series title. He had memorable a pinch-hit, three-run homer in Game 4 to spark Boston to a 9-6 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“We’ll never forgot what happened coming off the bench in Game 4,” Boston general manager Brian O’Halloran said.

Originally a 17th-round pick by Texas in 2007, Moreland is hitting .253 over his career with 174 homers, 491 runs scored and 580 RBIs. The left-handed hitter was a Gold Glove winner at first in 2016.

Tingler knows Moreland from their days together in Texas. Tingler spent 13 seasons with the Rangers organization before joining the Padres this season.

“A lot of people would describe him as a kind of a throwback, a grinding type,” Tingler said. “He’s a big, lumbering man and he’s hard-nosed. He doesn’t back down. His play shows. He’s respected among his peers and people in the game for who he’s been and what he’s done over his last 10 years in the league. He blends into what we’re about.”

Potts, a 21-year-old third baseman, is a career .256 hitter with 57 home runs and 224 RBIs in 423 minor league games. Rosario, a 20-year-old outfielder, has a .264 average with seven homers and 93 RBIs in 289 games in the minors.

“Both these guys have a chance to be really exciting players,” Bloom said. “Very high upside, both of them. Pretty accomplished minor league players playing at (high) levels where they’re very young last year.”




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