Oakland A’s keep adding to roster with Mitch Moreland
By David Hill
After trading Khris Davis, the Oakland A’s had a hole at the designated hitter spot. In theory, they could rotate players through that position, keeping Sean Murphy‘s bat in the lineup on off days and allowing Jed Lowrie to rest as the A’s look to keep him healthy. At least, that appeared to be the plan.
Those plans changed on Thursday. The Oakland A’s continued to add to their roster as they have signed Mitch Moreland to a one year deal worth up to $2.5 million.
What Mitch Moreland brings to the Oakland A’s
Moreland had a solid year in 2020, posting a .265/.342/.551 batting line with ten homers and nine doubles in 152 plate appearances between the Red Sox and Padres. A former All Star and Gold Glove winner, he can provide more pop to the A’s lineup while possessing solid on base skills.
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While he is limited to first base defensively these days, he would be a respectable enough option there should Matt Olson miss time. Moreland may no longer be Gold Glove caliber at first, but he still saved a run in his limited time at the position in 2020. However, he is not likely to get much action there in the coming season.
There are concerns when it comes to the A’s new designated hitter. He is strictly a platoon player, with a career .238/.300/.372 batting line and 22 homers over 925 plate appearances with 67 walks and 230 strikeouts against left handed pitching. His power numbers, as well as his strikeout to walk rates, are much worse against southpaws.
But the A’s do have options. The aforementioned Lowrie could slot in as the designated hitter with a lefty on the mound. Other players can rotate though the position against lefties to give Moreland the day off. Nonetheless, he does provide another power threat for Oakland’s lineup.
The Oakland A’s have continued adding to their roster as they signed Mitch Moreland. For the cost, he is a reasonable upgrade to the lineup.