ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 23: Nick Punto #8 of the St. Louis Cardinals dives safely back to first base before the tag by Mitch Moreland #18 of the Texas Rangers in the sixth inning during Game Four of the MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 23, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Take a look at these 2011 numbers and decide which player you'd rather have on your baseball team.
Player A: .259 batting average, .320 on-base %, .414 slugging %, 16 home runs, 51 RBIs
Player B: .299 batting average, .415 on-base %, .566 slugging %, 38 home runs, 120 RBIs
If you said "Player B", you're right. If you said "Player A", you're crazy.
Turns out, Player A is Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland, and Player B is Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder, who was a free agent this offseason and was courted by several teams, including the Rangers.
The nine years and more than $200 million the Tigers gave Fielder was way too much for a sensible team like the Rangers to fork over, so they can't have regrets about not getting him. But make no mistake, the Rangers wanted him, and they wanted him more than Moreland.
Now, Moreland is ready to prove his worth as a big-leaguer after undergoing off-season wrist surgery to fix a problem he played with over the second half of the 2011 season when he struggled badly.
Moreland spoke to Ben and Skin on ESPN 103.3 FM about the Fielder talks serving as off-season motivation for the 26-year-old.
"That's all it did was motivatate me," Moreland told the radio hosts. "It makes me want to go out and really show what I can do and show what I'm capable of to help this team."