WIth Prince Fielder now out for the season, the Texas Rangers appear to have begun their search for a suitable replacement. The club has reportedly reached out to the Washington Nationals regarding the availability of outfielder/first baseman Tyler Moore, a source tell MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Though nothing appears imminent, the Rangers apparently "have a long list of first basemen they have interest in."
The 27-year-old Moore had been filling in for injured first baseman Adam LaRoche while he was on the disabled list. However, with LaRoche now back from the DL, Moore has been relegated back to the bench, and thus may be deemed expendable by Washington. He is hitting .209/.293/.358 in 75 plate appearances for the Nationals this season.
The 2010 Nationals' Minor League Player of the Year, Moore first reached the majors in 2012, and has served as the club's most reliable bench option in each of the past three seasons. In 424 career plate appearances, he has hit .236/.293/.415 with 17 home runs.
Without Fielder, the Rangers are currently using Mitch Moreland as their everyday first baseman, and he has hit decently with a .764 OPS and 106 wRC+ in 137 plate appearances, which is quite a bit better than Moore. While Moreland has shown a heavy platoon split towards right-handers (.789 OPS versus .649 against lefties), Moore has also fared considerably better against righties with a .730 career OPS (.685 against lefties), so it's not as if the duo could serve as platoon partners, making the idea of Texas acquiring him to replace Moreland questionable. If Texas did land him, they would most likely use him in a bench role, or at designated hitter (they could also move Moreland to DH and put Moore at first), where Michael Choice is currently hitting just .196/.285/.299.
It's hard to say exactly who the Rangers have on their list of first base replacements, though Kendrys Morales is most likely on it. Another option could be Oakland Athletics' catcher/designated hitter John Jaso (pure speculation on my part), who is hitting .282/.370/.464, but has been outplayed by platoon partner Derek Norris this season. Despite being division rivals, the A's and Rangers have not shied away from making deals in the past, including this last offseason, when Texas sent outfielder Craig Gentry (and reliever Josh Lindblom) to Oakland for Choice and prospect Chris Bostick. The A's have also expressed recent interest in dealing away one of their bats if the right starting pitcher becomes available, though with the Rangers' rash of injuries to their own rotation, that may represent a roadblock in any potential trade.