The Pittsburgh Pirates made some roster announcements on November 29th, which lead to one of the biggest Brewer killers over the past few seasons being designated for assignment.
Moran has spent the last four years with the Pirates. The 29-year-old was originally traded to Pittsburgh in the deal that sent Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros. With Moran being DFA’d, that means every piece the Pirates received back for the star pitcher is now gone.
Colin is a career .267 hitter with 45 home runs, 216 home runs and a career .747 OPS over 460 games. He played only 16 games in Houston before being traded. With Pittsburgh, he averaged about 50 RBIs a season and 10 home runs. That would have put him fifth in RBIs and eighth in home runs if he was on the Brewers last year. In 2021, he had a .258 average with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs, which is basically right at his career average and very similar to Christian Yelich’s 2021 stats.
The New York native has also been amazing against the Brewers, which would help them at American Family Field
Moran Position Numbers
Moran has played 253 games at third base and 118 games at first base. He has 32 games as designated hitter, and also played at second, shortstop and left field for a few games. Colin has been primary used as a first baseman/designated hitter the last two seasons though.
Right now, the Brewers could use another first baseman. Daniel Vogelbach was just non-tendered by the team, which means the plan is to probably add another piece before next season. Rowdy Tellez and Vogelbach platooned nicely during 2021, but also split time with Eduardo Escobar after the trade deadline. They also didn’t get a full year at the position. Keston Hiura started the season at first, and Tellez wasn’t with the team until early July.
Tellez is the only true first baseman on the roster, unless the team will continue to try Hiura at the corner spot. Rowdy hit .272 with the Crew and had seven home runs and 28 RBIs. He also had two clutch home runs in the playoffs, when the offense was basically nowhere to be found for Milwaukee.
Vogelbach was a fan favorite and solid player for the Brewers, but he also hit .219 in 2021. He did only play in 55 games due to injury and was basically out from late June until September 1st. There is a chance he could be back with the team, but it appears Milwaukee will be looking for someone like Moran to fill that spot.
Colin’s Role With Milwaukee
Moran is mostly a first baseman now and also left-handed like Vogelbach and Tellez. But, his experience at third base and career averages gives Milwaukee an extra power-hitting boost. He can compete for first, but also be a solid corner utility player. If the goal is for Luis Urias to play third base next season, someone like Moran would be a great backup option. He hits left-handed, but throws right-handed, so would have no issues playing third base again.
It seems like a David Stearns-type of pick-up. Whoever ends up with Moran will have two seasons of control. He doesn’t become a free agent until 2024. He made $219K in 2020 and $2.8MM in 2021. The former first round pick would be able to compete for a roster spot, and not cost the Brewers that much. It almost makes too much sense when it comes to the Brewers recent way of signing players.
Obviously, fans would want a bigger name when it comes to a corner position player. Names like Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Seager. But if they are looking to replace Avisail Garcia in the outfield and appear set for their infield, a utility player like Moran could fit that mold. Milwaukee can probably spend some money on a new outfield or bigger name infielder, but not both.