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Pirates, Rangers to discuss Mitch Moreland trade

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates and Rangers will meet today to discuss a potential deal for first baseman Mitch Moreland, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes. You might remember that Grant originally reported that the Pirates would pursue Moreland, then backed away a bit. Now, though, it's apparently actually happening. Interestingly, this time Grant speculatively mentions Charlie Morton:

In previous conversations, it appeared Pittsburgh was more interested in trying to do a three-way deal than something straight up. I keep wondering if Charlie Morton might be a possible answer to a deal. Yes, Morton has had two down years, but he's coming off sports hernia and hip injuries. He gets ground balls at a ridiculous rate. He's signed at $8 million for 2016 with a club option for 2017. Maybe there is a tiny bit of money to move around, but on the surface, it makes some sense to me. Of course, I don't have final say on these deal[s].

Many Pirates fans would jump for joy if the Bucs traded Morton for a first baseman, and I can't say I'd be upset either -- first base will probably be harder for the Pirates to address than their rotation, given their pattern of signing veteran pitchers no one likes and turning them into No. 2 starters. But I wonder if dealing Morton for Moreland might actually be selling low. Morton's ground-ball-generating ability is real, and his peripherals were far better than his ERA last year. The Pirates can use starting pitching, and Morton seems like a great candidate to rebound. Anyway, Grant isn't claiming the Pirates and Rangers are discussing Morton, only Moreland, so it's likely this is all just hypothetical, but it's interesting.