Mitch Moreland exited last night’s game after injuring his hamstring and it sounds like the Rangers expect him to need a disabled list stint.
Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star Telegram reports that he’ll undergo an MRI exam today, so an official move may wait until Thursday.
Moreland has quietly been very productive at the bottom of the AL’s highest-scoring lineup, hitting .272 with 10 homers and an .838 OPS in 55 games to bounce back from a disappointing 2011 and basically duplicate his strong rookie numbers from 2010.
Michael Young figures to be the primary first baseman in Moreland’s absence, leaving the designated hitter spot open for Mike Napoli to take some time off from catching.
In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.
“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.
“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.
Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.