Stephanie wrote a nice piece on the Brandon Moss rumors yesterday, detailing her frustration with him in the past and her hesitancy toward the possible addition of Moss to the Tribe lineup.
There are definite reasons for concerns: inconsistency and injuries being her primary complaints – and both are fair criticisms.
But I’m actually optimistic about the possible addition of Moss for a few reasons:
He’s a huge power upgrade
Since joining the A’s in 2012 (and playing in a very pitcher-friendly park) Moss has hit 76 home runs – 11 more than the Indians leader, Carlos Santana, in that span… and he did it 600 fewer plate appearances.
The middle of the Tribe’s lineup could reasonably have Brantley 3rd, Santana 4th and Moss 5th – that’s a pretty strong heart of the order (especially if Swisher can get healthy and be an asset from the six-spot).
He’s a massive upgrade over Ryan Raburn
The Indians currently have a right fielder who shouldn’t even be playing in the majors any longer. I fully expect Raburn to be cut loose by the end of spring training, but the Indians can’t afford to make that move until they acquire a proven commodity (Moss) or see their younger options in action this spring.
He can actually hit lefties
|1. Ryan Raburn||.224||.405||.301||.706|
|2. Brandon Moss||.249||.413||.323||.736|
Moss is a lefty, which isn’t ideal since David Murphy is locked into a contract. However, he isn’t completely helpless against left-handed pitching.
Over the past three seasons, Moss has a .736 OPS against lefties, which is higher than the right-handed hitting Raburn over the same span.
The price is right
The A’s are reportedly interested in 24-year-old double-A second baseman Joe Wendle. I’m sure they have their reasons for liking Wendle, but he’s done nothing to show that he’s on the verge of breaking out at the major league level. He’ll turn 25 in April and has yet to even reach Columbus. Basically, he’s another Cord Phelps.
Moss is arbitration eligible for two more seasons, after earning $4.1M in 2014. He’s due for a modest bump in salary (no more than $6M I would guess) which is a very reasonable price for a guy who could potentially hit 25 to 30 home runs with a respectable OBP.
On the free agent market, Moss could easily land a one-year deal in the range of $10M, which would probably put him out of the Indians price range.
In other words, if the Indians want an upgrade in right field, this is how it needs to be done: buying low on a veteran with some flaws (mainly injuries, in this case).
I’m not going to predict that Moss comes in and hits 30 home runs and makes it back to the All-Star Game, but if the Tribe can acquire a guy with that potential for this supposed asking price, I’m 100% on board.