While it was never stated as such, Ramirez was always seen as a replacement for David Ortiz as Boston's designated hitter. And now that Ortiz has moved on, Ramirez could easily slide into that role full time while Boston makes the lefty-hitting Moreland the everyday starter at first base. But not so fast. Having a classic left/right platoon at first base allows manager John Farrell to use the designated hitter spot as a way to take advantage of certain matchups and give his everyday players the occasional day off from the field.
Moreland and Hanley Ramirez, who didn't kill Boston defensively at first as he did in left field the previous season, could form the platoon. The newly acquired Moreland would face right-handed starters and Ramirez could start against lefties. The platoon would allow manager John Farrell to use the now-available designated hitter spot to take advantage of certain matchups or keep players fresh. One can see Chris Young getting into the lineup more often against left-handed starters, or Dustin Pedroia getting a "day off" as the DH. We'll get a clearer picture of Moreland's projected usage in spring training, but be prepared for him to get fewer than 500 at-bats in a Boston uniform.
The deal is contingent on Moreland passing a physical, but it appears that the former Texas Ranger is headed to Boston. Although he's coming off a down season in terms of average, Moreland remained a force at the plate as he hit over 20 home runs for the third time in the last four years. Headed into 2017, Boston will likely move Hanley Ramirez from first base to the DH spot to make room for the sure-handed Moreland, who won a Gold Glove following his 2016 performance.
After being outrighted off the Blue Jays' 40-man roster, it probably became clear to Colabello that he would have a better chance at earning big league at-bats in a different organization in 2017. He has a career .266/.322/.435 slash line against righties and just a .237/.304/.397 line against southpaws. That is not a very appealing profile for a first baseman/corner outfielder, so he is unlikely to enter next season assured of regular big league at-bats.
Pearce underwent surgery in September and was given an estimated recovery time of 4-to-6 months, but he is versatile defender after having played first base, second base, third base and the outfield over his time with the Rays and Orioles last season and managed to record .288/.374/.492 with 13 home runs and 35 RBIs despite the injury. Whether he will be able to return in time for next year's spring training or not is still in question, but look for Pearce to primarily contribute as a first basemen while providing depth in the outfield in Toronto.
Colabello remains in the organization, but he's no longer on the 40-man roster. Other teams from around the league had the ability to claim the first baseman, but instead Colabello cleared waivers and remains under club control. This is his second career outright, meaning he can elect to become a free agent. The 33-year-old posted an .886 OPS for the Jays in 2015, but in 2016, he received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance. Colabello later appeared in 40 games for Triple-A Buffalo, managing a disappointing .180/.248/.288 slash line.
Moreland is one of several potential first-base options for the Indians, who are also considering Mike Napoli and Adam Lind. With Edwin Encarnacion a free agent, the Jays currently have Justin Smoak penciled in as the starter at first base, unless new addition Kendrys Morales gets some time at the position. Moreland posted solid numbers in 2016, hitting 22 homers and driving in 60 runs while sporting a .233/.298/.422 slash line. He also took home his first Gold Glove Award.
"The Great Balbino" doesn't have much prospect pedigree, but he certainly left his mark back in 2015 when he bashed 17 home runs and 28 doubles between the Double-A and Triple-A levels of the Royals organization. His production tapered off a bit last season, so between that and Freddie Freeman occupying first base at the major league level, Fuenmayor will likely spend another season in an organizational depth role.
Alonso was considered a potential non-tender candidate, so this deal allows him to stay on in Oakland for a second season with the A's. The 29-year-old played in a career-high 156 games and posted a .253/.316/.367 line with seven home runs last season, and he figures to once again serve as the primary option at first base in 2017.
The Yankees gave Parmelee the call in June after Mark Teixeira hit the DL, but he didn't even make it a week before going down with a hamstring injury. Parmelee then battled back spasms late in the year, but if healthy come the spring, the 28-year-old could make a push for a role at first base. He's hit .248/.313/.405 in parts of six major league seasons.