It’s not the flashy free agent move that Red Sox fans have been pining for but re-signing Mitch Moreland to a team-friendly 2-year, $13 million deal was a wise decision.
Moreland hit .246 with a .769 OPS and 22 home runs in his first season with the Red Sox. While those numbers may seem underwhelming for a first baseman, we should note that they would have looked far more appealing had he stayed healthy.
The veteran first baseman got off to a fast start, hitting .285/.382/.495 while ranking among the league-leaders in double. Then he fractured a toe after being hit by a pitch in the left foot in early June. Moreland attempted to play through the injury, resulting in a drastic dip in production.
While Moreland downplayed the severity of the injury, it clearly was affecting him at the plate. His batting average fell 20 points from when the injury occurred through the end of the month and he followed that up with a pathetic .145 average and .435 OPS in July.
His bat began to heat up again once the toe sufficiently healed, lending optimism that he can regain that early season form. If Moreland gets back to hitting the way he did prior to the injury while providing Gold Glove-caliber defense at first base then he’ll prove to be a tremendous bargain.