The Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres figure to be among the two most active teams in baseball leading up to Monday's trade deadline. They hooked up for a deal Sunday. The Padres have acquired first baseman Mitch Moreland from the Red Sox for prospects Hudson Potts and Jeisson Rosario, the team announced.
A few hours later, the Padres swung their third trade in less than 24 hours, importing catcher Jason Castro in a deal with the Los Angeles Angels, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. There's no word on what the Angels will receive in the trade. Earlier this weekend the Padres acquired closer Trevor Rosenthal from the Royals, bolstering their bullpen.
Moreland, 34, is having an excellent season, hitting .328/.430/.746 with eight home runs. All eight homers have come against righty pitchers. Eric Hosmer is having a fantastic season and is entrenched at first base. The Padres have used nine different players at DH though, and they've received a underwhelming .254/.326/.431 batting line from the position. Moreland will help there.
The catcher position has been a black hole for the Padres all season. Their catchers are collectively hitting .140/.225/.290. It is a defense-first position, no doubt, but there is a minimum acceptable level of offense and San Diego's backstops have not met it so far this year. Castro is a good hitter, not a great hitter, yet he represents a significant upgrade behind the plate.
The Padres came into Sunday averaging 5.49 runs per game, second most in baseball behind the NL West rival Dodgers (5.63). With Moreland and Castro now aboard, manager Jayce Tingler's regular lineup could look something like this until Tommy Pham returns from his hand injury later this season:
- CF Trent Grisham
- SS Fernando Tatis Jr.
- 3B Manny Machado
- 1B Eric Hosmer
- DH Mitch Moreland
- LF Wil Myers
- 2B Jake Cronenworth
- LF Jurickson Profar/Josh Naylor
- C Austin Hedges/Jason Castro
San Diego is currently 20-15 and sitting in the No. 4 seed in the expanded postseason field. FanGraphs puts the team's postseason odds at a healthy 94.1 percent. Padres GM A.J. Preller isn't necessarily chasing after every last regular season win with the Moreland and Castro trades. He is looking to put his team in the best position to have a deep postseason run.
In Potts and Rosario, the Red Sox added two solid prospects to a farm system that ranks closer to the bottom of the league than the top. MLB.com ranks Potts and Rosario as the No. 16 and No. 19 prospects in a stacked San Diego farm system, respectively. Here is a snippet of their scouting report on Potts:
Potts makes hard contact at the plate, with a quick right-handed bat and plenty of strength to his frame. There is some swing-and-miss to his game. But it will be worth it if he can draw a few more walks and tap further into his power. Potts projects as a fringe-average hitter. But the power is undeniable ... If he can make a bit more contact and work a few more walks, Potts has the upside of a big league power threat.
Potts, 21, was the No. 24 pick in the 2014 draft. The third baseman authored a .227/.290/.406 line with 16 home runs in 106 games at Double-A last year. The 20-year-old Rosario, an outfielder, hit .242/.372/.314 in 120 Single-A games in 2019. MLB.com says the "finished product could be that of a big league regular, with the athletic capabilities to do dazzling things on the baseball field."
The Angels and Red Sox have the American League's two worst records and are selling. Boston has already dealt Moreland, Heath Hembree, and Brandon Workman, and could still move Kevin Pillar and Jackie Bradley Jr., among others. The Halos have traded away Tommy La Stella and are receiving interest in Andrelton Simmons and Dylan Bundy.
You can keep track of all the latest trade deadline activity with our trade tracker.