When breaking down the Red Sox' return in their trade with San Diego for Mitch Moreland at the end of the 2020 season -- Jeisson Rosario and Hudson Potts -- Worcester Red Sox manager Billy McMillon surmised his organization might have come out on top.
"Both Potts and Rosario from San Diego for Moreland," McMillon said. "I think we will come out ahead on that."
Now it really looks like the Red Sox got the upper-hand.
According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the Padres will not be picking up Moreland's $3 million for 2021, instead buying out the first baseman for $500,000.
The move will send Moreland to free agency once again, perhaps setting the stage for another go-round with the Red Sox. The 35-year-old has already chosen the Sox as a destination three separate times while living life as a free agent.
Moreland, who battled a bad knee throughout the 2020 season, could be an interesting left-handed-hitting complement to Bobby Dalbec at first base at short money. The issue would be the lack of roster flexibility that the combination of Dalbec and Moreland possess, although the 2020 rookie can be integrated at third base as well.
The presence of Moreland in the Red Sox' clubhouse has also served as a positive throughout his four-season tenure in Boston.
Moreland wasn't able to carry over the hot bat he possessed with the Red Sox prior to the Trade Deadline, hitting just .203 with a .609 OPS and two homers while primarily serving as San Diego's designated hitter.