Despite declining his option for 2021, the Padres haven’t closed the door on bringing back Mitch Moreland in 2021.
On Sunday, the San Diego Padres declined the 2021 club option on Mitch Moreland.
The 35-year-old was acquired at the trade deadline from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Hudson Potts and Jeisson Rosario. At the time, Moreland was hitting a robust .328 with eight home runs and 21 RBI’s through the first 22 games with Boston.
But that production never carried over to San Diego. In 20 games, Moreland posted a .203/.247/.362 slash line with two home runs and eight RBI’s. Perhaps more importantly, he hit just .186 at Petco Park. Of course, it’s a small size to go off, but did he benefit from hitter-friendly parks in his two previous stops in Boston and Texas?
Moreland would have cost the Padres $3M for the 2021 season, but much rides on MLB’s plan to carry the National League’s designated hitter position for next season. It was implemented for the shortened season. The rule has long been clamored as part of the league’s next Collective Bargaining Agreement, set to expire at the end of next season.
But the Padres haven’t closed the door on bringing Moreland back.
The Padres might consider re-signing Mitch Moreland later this offseason, but that won't be much of a discussion until there is more definitive word on the future of the universal DH.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) November 1, 2020
We will learn in the coming weeks whether the DH will remain in the National League in 2021. At that time, the Padres may or may not engage in talks with Moreland to return.
If the league says no to the DH in the NL, he’ll have a market to return to the American League, given how well guys like Nelson Cruz and Edwin Encarnacion have thrived in said role. And while J.D. Martinez exercised his player option on Sunday, Boston may desire to bring Moreland back.
He has a .860 OPS with 33 home runs and 119 RBI’s at Fenway Park in his career.