With Mondayâs trade deadline approaching, the Red Sox dealt yet another on- and off-field anchor of their recent teams, this time trading first baseman Mitch Moreland to the Padres in exchange for infielder Hudson Potts and outfielder Jeisson Rosario.
The Red Sox are also calling up Bobby Dalbec, one of their top prospects, with the intent to start him on Sunday in the series finale against the Washington Nationals at 1:35 p.m.
Moreland signed with the Sox as a free agent prior to the 2017 season, and re-signed with the team both after that season (a two-year deal) and just before the start of the 2020 campaign â a sign of how much the Sox valued both his skill-set and off-field leadership.
âHeâs the ultimate professional,â said Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke. âHe plays hurt, which you donât always want guys playing hurt, but heâs always willing to go out there and play. He produces when heâs out there. Heâs a good defender. Obviously, offensively he creates runs, whether heâs driving them in, whether heâs getting on base, he has a knack of helping your team to produce a lot of runs. And heâs big â he comes up with big-moment hits. For me, when you get in the playoffs, thatâs what you need. You guys that in the moment can put all the external pressures off and still produce. Heâs one of those guys.
âIn the clubhouse, definitely one of the leaders but also somebody that guys can go and talk to and ask questions. He can direct the group in a way that is beneficial. As a coaching staff, as a manager, itâs huge to have players like that. I canât say enough about Mitch. Iâll miss him for sure. The guys loved him. The coaching staff, myself loved him. Upstairs [in the front office] they loved him. Heâll be missed.â
He was amidst a dominant 2020 performance, hitting .328/.430/.746. He has an affordable $3 million option for the 2021 season, a fact that added to the return offered by the Padres, who sent the Red Sox what one evaluator described as âtwo real prospects.â
Rosario â one of the top prospects in the 2016 international amateur pool â is a 20-year-old CF who hit .242/.372/.314 in High-A as a 19-year-old last year. His speed makes him a potential impact defensive player, while his plate discipline gives him a chance to contribute offensively â though to date, heâs struggled to make solid contact in games.
Potts, an infielder, was a 2016 first rounder who reached Double A last year as a 20-year-old. Baseball America recently ranked him as the No. 17 prospect in a loaded Padres organization thanks to what one evaluator described as âbig power potentialâ and solid defense at third base. However, his strikeout rate does create questions about his floor. Potts hit .227/.290/.406 last year in the Texas League.
Roenicke said calling up Dalbec, one of the Red Soxâ top prospects, is a glimpse at âa possibility of what the future could look like.
âGetting Bobby up here, who is a guy that has been on our radar for a long time as one of our top prospects and knowing the upside to what we think this guy can become,â he said, âI think itâs important to see him, to see what he can do, for him to also get comfortable with being in the big leagues.â
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