Mariners First Base Options: Mitch Moreland

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 09: Mitch Moreland
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 09: Mitch Moreland /

The Mariners are looking for first base options with their primary platoon there headed for free agency. Let’s look at another option: Mitch Moreland.

There seems to be mutual interest between incumbent first baseman Yonder Alonso and the Mariners, but there’s no telling what General Manager Jerry Dipoto will do this offseason as he yet again retools the roster to try to get back to the playoffs after 16 long seasons.

Another option for the Mariners at first is Mitch Moreland, the former Red Sox slugger who has been remarkably consistent over the past three seasons.

Moreland of course spent seven seasons with the Texas Rangers before taking his services to Boston, where he hit 22 home runs in 576 plate appearances for the American League East Champions.

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Moreland hasn’t had an earth-shattering season yet, but he hit 23 home runs in 2015, 22 in 2016, and 22 again last season. His .769 OPS for Boston wasn’t incredible for the Red Sox last season, but at least you know what you’re getting if you pay for Moreland.

Moreland might come at a slight discount to the Mariners because of his decent but unspectacular numbers. At age 31, he could still improve on his 22 home runs in 2018, especially with the help of Mariners hitting coach and legend Edgar Martinez.

His split numbers don’t exactly invite a platoon approach, however. His .246/.324/.460 slash against right-handed pitchers last year was similar to his overall ratios. One thing that Moreland brings other than a decent left-handed bat is a solid glove. He was 10 runs saved above average last year at first base, according to Baseball Reference.

Next: Mariners First Base Options: Logan Morrison

Dipoto will likely make a dive into free agency to get a first baseman for next season. Danny Valencia is a free agent, joining Alonso, and it still remains to be seen if Dan Vogelbach is ready for regular major-league action.