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Should the Padres bring back Mitch Moreland in 2021?

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Veteran experience or more money for the future?

MLB: Player Headshots 2020 Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this year, the Padres made a flurry of moves prior to the trade deadline. One of those moves was sending minor leaguers Hudson Potts and Jeisson Rosario to the Red Sox for Mitch Moreland. San Diego acquired a veteran presence to help them on their way to fighting for a World Series pennant.

The Padres didn’t get there, but there’s still plenty of optimism heading into the 2021 season. One of the questions A.J. Preller has to figure out is whether or not to pick up Moreland’s $3 million option for next year, or buy out his option at $500,000.

Due to Eric Hosmer’s finger injury, Moreland saw his playing time go up then down once the former starter at first base returned to the lineup. Overall, however, his play slipped drastically from his time spent with his old team compared to his time in San Diego.

With Boston, Moreland was hitting .328 with a 1.177 OPS. In his 20 games with the Padres, he slashed .203/.247/.367 with a .609 OPS. That’s a heck of a dip in production, especially when you keep in mind what they probably expected from him.

In a recent interview with the San Diego Tribune, Preller discussed the decision and remarked how much easier it could be made should MLB decide to keep the DH role for the 2021 season.

“It would help a little bit having a sense of if there is a DH or not. We’ll try to get a sense of budget and try to get a sense of where he fits in.”

Aside from the impact he could have in the box score, Moreland still offers the locker room a championship pedigree and an established veteran with a wealth of experience that can be utilized by the younger players on the roster.

But as I said earlier, time will tell here as we await the MLB to announce whether or not teams will be able to strategize going forward with a designated DH position.