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Padres acquire Mitch Moreland from Red Sox for two prospects

San Diego acquires one of baseball’s best hitters this season.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox Photo by David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres have acquired first baseman Mitch Moreland from the Red Sox in exchange for third base prospect Hudson Potts and outfield prospect Jeisson Rosario. The teams announced the deal, which was first reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, on Sunday morning:

The 34-year-old Moreland, a left-handed hitter who has carved out an 11-year major-league career being consistently average to slightly above-average at the plate, has caught fire during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and has a .328/.430/.746 slash line with eight homers and 21 RBI over 22 games. He’ll likely settle in as San Diego’s primary DH and provide depth behind Eric Hosmer, who has bounced back at the plate this season but missed time while battling gastritis earlier this month.

While they’re five games back of the Dodgers in the NL West, the Padres appear destined to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2006 under MLB’s expanded playoff system. GM A.J. Preller has continued his rather longstanding trend of making “all-in” moves this month, as the Moreland deal follows yesterday’s move to acquire reliever Trevor Rosenthal from the Royals.

The Padres took Potts, 21, with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2016 draft. At 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds, he has impressive power potential and hit 20 homers as an 18-year-old in Class A. However, while his power remained, he struggled to make contact against Double-A pitching last season and finished with a .227/.290/.406 slash line during his first year in the upper minors. He was ranked as San Diego’s No. 16 prospect by MLB Pipeline.

Rosario, 20, is a lefty hitter who is viewed as an athletic defender capable of sticking in center field in the major leagues. He’s a .264/.376/.340 hitter over three minor-league seasons, though he posted a career-worst .242/.372/.314 line with three homers in 525 plate appearances at High-A Lake Elsinore last season. MLB Pipeline ranked him as San Diego’s No. 18 prospect.