David Murphy #7 of the Texas Rangers is congratulated by Mitch Moreland #18 after Murphy hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on September 2, 2013 in Oakland, California. Moreland scored in front of Murphy on the home run. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
The Texas Rangers have wanted Mitch Moreland to stake claim to the starting first base job in Arlington for years now, ever since he came up in 2010 and swung a hot bat all the way through the World Series.
Since then, it's all been downhill for Moreland, who's been derailed by injuries and just subpar play, and it all came to a head on Wednesday night when the Rangers acquired first baseman Prince Fielder from the Detroit Tigers for Ian Kinsler.
So what's this mean for Moreland? Well, it could mean a number of different things.
Option A: Trade Moreland
Moreland isn't going to be front and center in any trade of significance, but he could be a very nice throw-in to a bigger deal. He's still relatively young (28), he's controlled at a cheap price through 2017 and no matter what you want to say about Moreland, something you can't say is that he doesn't have a power bat. When he's going well, he has prodigious power, those times have just been few and far between. Also, he's a plus defender at first base. Package him with a pitcher, such as Alexi Ogando and a couple of hot prospects, and you might be getting in the conversation for a nice return.
Option B: Keep Moreland
When the news broke late Wednesday that Fielder was coming, it was probably assumed by most that Moreland was gone, but don't be so sure. As mentioned above, Moreland is a much better defensive first baseman than Fielder, who ranked dead-last in the American League using advanced defensive metrics, while Moreland ranks right in the middle among AL first basemen. He's also versatile, having played in the outfield a ton in the minors and even some in the majors. He could be a valuable piece in several ways — platooning in left field, being the team's primary first baseman while Fielder is the team's DH, or being a quality bat off the bench, something the Rangers have lacked for years now.