Mitch Moreland trade rumors: Rays a possibility to acquire 1B

Stephen Dunn

Moreland has been rumored to be expendable after the Rangers acquired Prince Fielder to play first base.

The Tampa Bay Rays are interested in trading for Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The possibility of the team making a move for him has increased now that Texas has acquired Prince Fielder to play first base.

Tampa Bay's first baseman in 2013, James Loney, is a free agent this offseason and unlikely to return after having his best year at the plate since 2007. The Rays do not have many internal options to fill the position, either. Utility man Sean Rodriguez is likely lined up as the starter for now.

The Rangers are unlikely to ask for a big return for Moreland. Though he could play DH or the outfield for the Rangers, the team is expected to be active on the free agent market to fill holes at those positions. While Moreland, 28, has shown some pop with 23 home runs in 2013, he has been fairly average at the plate. Over three full seasons in Texas, he has posted a .749 OPS.

The Pirates and Mets have also been mentioned as possibilities to trade for Moreland, according to the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo. The Brewers could also peak in to see what the Rangers are asking.

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