First baseman Mitch Moreland is returning to the Boston Red Sox.
On Monday, Boston completed a two-year, $13 million deal with Moreland. This eliminated any legitimate possibility of the Red Sox signing free agent Eric Hosmer, the biggest free agent first baseman on the market this offseason.
Notable Red Sox blogger Jared Carrabis wasn’t one of the fans who seemed to overvalue Hosmer by calling Moreland’s signing a “very smart baseball move” for Boston, while also mentioning the similarities between him and Moreland:
Over the last three seasons, Mitch Moreland has 82 doubles, and Eric Hosmer has 88. Moreland has 67 homers and Hosmer has 68. They also have one Gold Glove award each.
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) December 18, 2017
Moreland, 32, hit .246/.326/.443 with 22 homers and 79 RBIs during his first year with the Red Sox in 2017, ranking third on the club in both homers and RBIs.
“We liked the job that Mitch did for us last year,” said Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, per MLB.com. “We really like the all-around game that Mitch brings to us offensively and defensively. We knew he wanted to come back here. We wanted to explore some other options which they were aware of, and so we did that.”
Boston is still looking to add a power bat in the middle of their lineup, with their biggest focus being J.D. Martinez, who slugged 45 homers in 432 at-bats for the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017.
Moreland spent the first seven years of his Major League career from 2010-16 prior to joining the Red Sox. Overall, he’s a .252/.317/.439 career hitter with 132 homers and 433 RBIs, in addition to his 2016 Gold Glove Award (career .996 fielding percentage at first base).