BOSTON — Free agent first baseman Mitch Moreland was already excited about joining the Boston Red Sox when the team made a move that made it even more appealing.

One day after trading for five-time All-Start left-hander Chris Sale, the Red Sox agreed to terms with Moreland on a $5.5 million, one-year deal to share time with Hanley Ramirez at first base.

“It just shows you that we’re in it and trying to go all out and trying to make that happen,” Moreland told reporters Thursday. “I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Manager John Farrell said Ramirez will get most of his at-bats at designated hitter, filling the spot that opened up when David Ortiz retired. Moreland will play primarily at first base, where he won a Gold Glove after committing just two errors in 1,103 total chances last season.

Moreland, 31, batted .233 with 22 homers and 21 doubles last year with the Texas Rangers. In 14 games at Fenway Park, he has a .341 average with four homers, two doubles and eight RBI.

“It’s one of those things where I’m just loose, I feel like I’m comfortable (there),” Moreland said. “It kind of brings the kid out in you when you get to do it at a place like this. That’s what makes it fun, and this place is one of the best at it.”


To make room for Moreland on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox designated left-hander Williams Jerez for assignment.

The deal finished off a busy winter meetings for the Red Sox.

Shortly before acquiring Sale from the White Sox for four minor leaguers – including No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada – Boston acquired reliever Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for a package that included infielder Travis Shaw. They also picked up the 2018 option on Farrell’s contract.

CARDINALS: Dexter Fowler is headed from the World Series champions to their biggest rival.

After helping the Chicago Cubs end their long championship drought, he finalized an $82.5 million, five-year contract with St. Louis on Friday.

Fowler fills the last big hole in the Cardinals lineup after moves made earlier in the offseason to shore up the bullpen.


Last season the switch-hitting Fowler batted .276 with 13 homers and a career-best .393 on-base percentage that landed him in his first All-Star Game.

Signing Fowler will cost the Cardinals their first-round pick (19th overall) in the 2017 draft, since the Cubs made him a qualifying offer.

BREWERS: Right-hander Phil Bickford, the 18th overall pick in baseball’s 2015 amateur draft, has been suspended for the first 50 games of next season following a second positive test for a drug of abuse under the sport’s minor league drug program.

Bickford, 21, is on the roster of Milwaukee’s Class A Carolina Mudcats of the Carolina League. He signed with the San Francisco for a $2,333,800 bonus and was traded at this year’s Aug. 1 deadline to the Brewers along with catcher Andrew Susac for left-hander Will Smith.

TIGERS: Detroit agreed to terms with infielder Omar Infante on a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.

The 34-year-old Infante played 39 games in the major leagues last season with Kansas City, hitting .239 with no home runs. He began his big league career with the Tigers back in 2002 and had a second stint with Detroit from 2012-13.

DIAMONDBACKS: The team finalized a $2.75 million, one-year contract with closer Fernando Rodney agreed to earlier this week.

The deal allows him to earn an additional $4 million in performance bonuses.

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