The Cleveland Indians have not exactly had an exciting offseason.
Can signing Mitch Moreland change that?
Well, probably not.
But the veteran first baseman is an interesting name to keep in mind given the current makeup of the roster.
Adding experience never hurts and the Indians should at least consider the possibility.
Mitch Moreland never saw a pitch he didn't like in Game 4 of the World Series. pic.twitter.com/5HsuXya1qT
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) February 9, 2019
Resume Heading Into 2021
The veteran first baseman has never been a star of the game.
He has made one All-Star Game, in 2018, and has a 10.2 WAR in 11 career seasons.
What he has been is reliable during his time with both the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox.
His latest stint came with the San Diego Padres to finish last season.
The hope would be he can get back to his 2018 level for one more year at the age of 35.
Moreland is a career .252/.320/.448 batter and also has one career Gold Glove to his name.
That defensive potential stands out well above the current options at first on the roster.
He would also add a left-handed power bat to the lineup in place of someone like Bobby Bradley, who may still need more time to figure out his game.
Another nice thing about Moreland is that he is not a strikeout machine.
The most he has ever had in one season was 120 back in 2017.
Santana went above that mark three times during his Indians career.
Moreland isn’t drawing walks at Santana’s high rate, but that is hard for anyone to do.
The First Basemen in Town Now
Naylor and Bauers don’t jump off the page as amazing options.
They are in the mix more because of a surplus of outfielders than anything else.
Between the two, Naylor has flashed more early potential.
But he has still only played in 134 career games.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) September 30, 2020
Bauers was the big prospect that came to town in the Yandy Diaz trade.
That move hasn’t panned out yet and the 25-year-old Bauers did not even get a shot with the big league club in 2020.
He slashed .226/.312/.371 in 2019 with 115 strikeouts in 117 games.
Bauers struggling was not a huge shock, but he is not going to win a starting job in 2021 if there is legitimate competition.
The question is whether the Indians want to figure out if he is a long-term piece this season and just force him into the lineup.
If not, he can spend time in the minors and the team can remain patient.
The Indians would be wise to at least invite Moreland to Spring Training.
That would be a classic low-risk, high-reward move that should not cost much at all.
Doing such a thing would depend on whether he wants to take a deal like that or wait it out until the season begins and teams get more desperate due to injuries or underperforming players.
The Indians have not yet committed to a full rebuild so landing Moreland would be another move that at least makes it appear as if winning is the goal this season.