The hulking 1st baseman re-signed with the Red Sox in the offseason to the tune of 2 years and $13 million. Moreland got paid, and the Sox kept a veteran clubhouse leader with power and a Gold Glove to his name.
Moreland’s 2017 was hampered by a nagging foot injury that kept him from being 100% for the final two-thirds of the year. He’s entering the new season healthy, though, so what exactly does he bring to the table for Boston?
First of all, the Sox get an exceptional fielding 1st baseman with a career .996 fielding % and, as mentioned, one Gold Glove in his trophy case, plus someone vying for playing time with Hanley Ramirez who will hopefully push Ramirez to perform. But more so, they have a guy who is a constant home run threat when at the plate.
While Moreland only posts a .252 career BA, he’s averaged a respectable 23 HR and 76 RBI per season throughout his 8-year MLB career. He acts as a substantial presence in the middle of the order that pitchers must remain wary of, lest they’d like to risk watching a ball fly over the wall. It’s an asset that the Red Sox desperately craved last year, and now they’re able to slot Moreland in somewhere within the 5 to 7 slots in the order to provide some protection for guys like J.D. Martinez and a (hopefully) revitalized Hanley Ramirez (when Martinez gets a day of rest).
At just $6.5 million per year, I’d say that re-signing Moreland was the right move for the Red Sox, who need that kind of presence if they hope to contend for another AL East title and ultimately a World Series championship.