The Texas Rangers and the Pittsburgh Pirates both have needs and as their surplus matches up quite well for a trade. Both franchises have engaged in possible trade talks as the Hot Stove is quickly heating at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, TN. The talk so far has been centered around a possible deal that would send first baseman Mitch Moreland to the Pirates.
A huge upgrade on both sides of the ball
Moreland has struggled a bit with health throughout his career - he only logged 132 games and 515 PAs last season and he spent time on the DL with a bone spurs removal - and there's a chance he could only be seen as a stop-gap considering that top prospect Josh Bell is coming off a season where he hit .317/.393/.446 last season between Double-A and Triple-A, although he only logged 32 games at the highest level of the minors. Despite this, however, Moreland would be a massive upgrade over Pedro Alvarez who was recently non-tendered by Pittsburgh.
Alvarez led the team with 27 homers last year but his defense was nothing short of atrocious at first. Alvarez simply didn't have a place on a strong defensive team like Pittsburgh and Moreland would clearly be a better fit, even considering his struggles against left-handed pitching (only .681 OPS in 2015) and the fact that he's not very slick with the glove either.
The possible return
Some sources are saying the deal is highly unlikely considering Moreland's success this past season - where he batted .278/.330/.482 while tying his previous career-high of 23 home runs - but if there was the possibility of such a deal, then the Rangers would have to receive a starting pitcher as part of the return for the 30-year-old. Texas has also been linked with 25-year-old Venezuelan shortstop Elias Diaz but Pittsburgh is not keen to part ways with the talented infielder.
Regardless of the nature of the rumor, Moreland would clearly give the Pirates a boost. A boost they would need if they want to contend against the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central next season.