Washington Nationals: Trade Profile Mitch Moreland

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 19: Mitch Moreland #18 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after hitting a double during the eighth inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on August 19, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 19: Mitch Moreland #18 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after hitting a double during the eighth inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on August 19, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
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Next up for our trade profiles is the Boston Red Sox’s, Mitch Moreland. Would a trade make sense?

In our last trade piece, we explored the possibility of Mike Yastrzemski and this time around the focus will be on Mitch Moreland. The Nationals offense has slowly been improving but still lacks another productive bat in the middle of the lineup. The Red Sox Mitch Moreland is just the man for D.C. He can DH and play first base, and offers protection for Juan Soto in the lineup.

Trade Target: Mitch Moreland

Position: First

Team: Boston Red Sox

Why This Trade Makes Sense

In 16 games this season, Moreland is hitting .360, with seven homers, 17 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.288. He has been one of the few bright spots for the Red Sox in an otherwise abysmal season. In D.C., Moreland would take over as the starting first baseman while also taking reps as the teams DH. Dave Martinez would have another reliable veteran who he can shuffle into the lineup to get the best matchup possible. Moreland’s presence would also allow for some of the other aging veterans to have extended days off. In this marathon of the season, that cannot be overlooked.

From Boston’s perspective, they are going to be clear sellers at the deadline, and maximizing on Moreland’s production is a must. They are last in the AL at 8-18, have lost nine straight, and have an abysmal -52 run differential. This is mainly due to the vast turnover of the Red Sox starting rotation. Ace, Chris Sale underwent Tommy John Surgery, Eduardo Rodriguez has been out with COVID, and David Price was traded to the Dodgers as part of the Mookie Betts deal. Collin McHugh was signed in free agency, but he opted out of the 2020 season. This has led to Nathan Eovaldi being the team’s ace. Washington’s farm system is bare but has plenty of intriguing pitching prospects to dangle in front of Boston.

Why It Doesn’t

Moreland’s deal expires after this year, but it does include a club option for 2021. Washington would need to assess its situation and decide if Moreland is the right guy to get the offense back on track. After all, he is 34 and a career .253 hitter. Mortgaging the future on an aging veteran who is having a career year doesn’t always work out.

Boston will be looking for a modest haul of MLB ready pitching talent. Washington only has a few pitching prospects that are on the cusp of making the show. Washington’s Seth Romero made his MLB debut earlier in the month but has only been working out of the bullpen. He will need to be stretched out before switching back to being a full-time starter. Wil Crowe is another pitching prospect that Washington could ship out.

Is It Possible?

Washington has some appealing pitching prospects that could help the Red Sox in the long run.  Boston has the worst pitching staff in the league and is in desperate need of reinforcements. Moreland’s contract won’t send the Nats over the luxury tax which has been a major factor for the Lerner’s in recent years.

Projected Trade Offer

Nationals receive: Mitch Moreland

Red Sox receive: Seth Romero, Wil Crowe

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