Mitch Moreland
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Padres acquire Moreland from Red Sox for 2 prospects

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DENVER — The San Diego Padres made another big move to try and end their playoff drought, acquiring slugger Mitch Moreland in a trade Sunday with the Boston Red Sox.

The Padres haven’t been to the postseason since 2006. They currently have the second-most wins in the NL, trailing only division rival Los Angeles.

Moreland adds even more power to an already potent San Diego lineup. On top of that, he brings big-game experience. He’s been in the postseason in seven of his past 10 seasons.

“Being able to add his makeup, character, that will blend in really well into this clubhouse,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. “There’s a positive buzz, energy going around.”

As part of the deal, the Red Sox acquired a pair of prospects from San Diego, outfielder Jeisson Rosario and infielder Hudson Potts.

It’s the second straight day the Padres have made a splashy move. On Saturday, they bolstered their bullpen by acquiring Trevor Rosenthal in a trade with the Kansas City Royals.

Asked if general manager A.J. Preller might be done, Tingler responded: “I would say we’ll wait and see. .. He doesn’t sleep and he’s relentless.”

Moreland, who turns 35 on Sept. 6, was leading the Red Sox with eight homers, 21 RBIs and a .328 batting average. He’s made 19 starts at first base this season and three more as a designated hitter.

Tingler envisions Moreland being in the lineup as a DH and spelling first baseman Eric Hosmer.

The struggling Red Sox became sellers at the looming trade deadline after entering Sunday in last place in the AL East.

“We basically felt, given where we stand and where we are in 2020, and then the importance of depth and talent in the farm system, that there was a level of talent (in return) where it made sense to move him,” Boston chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said.

Moreland earned his lone All-Star selection in 2018, the same season he helped the Red Sox win a World Series title. He had memorable a pinch-hit, three-run homer in Game 4 to spark Boston to a 9-6 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“We’ll never forgot what happened coming off the bench in Game 4,” Boston general manager Brian O’Halloran said.

Originally a 17th-round pick by Texas in 2007, Moreland is hitting .253 over his career with 174 homers, 491 runs scored and 580 RBIs. The left-handed hitter was a Gold Glove winner at first in 2016.

Tingler knows Moreland from their days together in Texas. Tingler spent 13 seasons with the Rangers organization before joining the Padres this season.

“A lot of people would describe him as a kind of a throwback, a grinding type,” Tingler said. “He’s a big, lumbering man and he’s hard-nosed. He doesn’t back down. His play shows. He’s respected among his peers and people in the game for who he’s been and what he’s done over his last 10 years in the league. He blends into what we’re about.”

Potts, a 21-year-old third baseman, is a career .256 hitter with 57 home runs and 224 RBIs in 423 minor league games. Rosario, a 20-year-old outfielder, has a .264 average with seven homers and 93 RBIs in 289 games in the minors.

“Both these guys have a chance to be really exciting players,” Bloom said. “Very high upside, both of them. Pretty accomplished minor league players playing at (high) levels where they’re very young last year.”

Angels’ Andrelton Simmons opts out of final 5 games

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has opted out of the remainder of the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

The Angels announced the four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop’s decision Tuesday before they faced the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (24-31) is still technically in the playoff race with five games left in the regular season, and Simmons clearly caught the Angels by surprise, although the club said it respected his decision.

The 31-year-old Simmons, who can be a free agent this winter, is finishing his fifth year with the Angels. After spraining his ankle in late July and missing 22 games, Simmons is currently batting .297 with 10 RBIs while playing his usual stellar defense, albeit with four errors in 30 games.

“At this time, I feel this is the best decision for me and my family,” Simmons said in a statement. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”

Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged he was caught by surprise when general manager Billy Eppler told him about Simmons’ decision Monday night after Simmons went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the Angels’ home finale. Maddon texted Simmons, but hadn’t heard back by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve really enjoyed this guy a lot,” Maddon said. “I’m a big fan. This guy is a good baseball player, and I’ve enjoyed the conversations, too. It’s just unfortunate. He’s really a big part of what we’re doing right now.”

Simmons is a favorite of Angels fans for his defensive wizardry, and owner Arte Moreno has described Simmons as perhaps his favorite player to watch on the roster. Simmons has batted .281 with 36 homers and 281 RBIs during his five seasons with Los Angeles, and he won the Gold Glove in 2017 and 2018.

“He’s a thinking kind of a player, and I’ve enjoyed him a lot,” Maddon said.

Simmons will be a free agent this winter, and the Angels have an obvious replacement for him in David Fletcher, who has a .374 on-base percentage while regularly hitting leadoff for the Angels during his breakout major league season. Fletcher has been playing second base since Simmons’ return from injury.

But the Angels haven’t publicly closed the door on Simmons’ return, and he could be given a qualifying offer. Maddon has repeatedly said he would like Simmons to return in 2021 if possible.

The Angels haven’t had a winning season during Simmons’ five years in Anaheim, although Simmons said last week he wasn’t discouraged by the lack of team success. Simmons played his first four major league seasons in Atlanta, and he hasn’t appeared in the postseason since 2013.

Simmons also said he hadn’t been involved in any recent contract talks with the Angels, but he had enjoyed playing for the club. When asked if he wanted to return to the Halos, Simmons said he would have to “plead the fifth.”