By: Noah Wright
(Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Adam Lind had one of the best offensive seasons of his career in 2017, and has yet to play a game in 2018. After an amazing season in where Adam Lind played a big role for The Nationals bench, Lind hit the free agent market, and it seemed he’d land somewhere; maybe as a bench or platoon bat, or even a starting player on a rebuilding team. However Adam Lind was a victim of the off season free agent freeze, an oversaturated market, and led to him being the most unjust doing of 2018.
To start with this story, we have to see how Adam Lind got to this point of 2018. The long time corner first base and corner outfield for The Blue Jays had a productive season with The Brewers, but then had a career worst season with The Mariners, but did still provide 20 home runs. After the 2016 season, Lind had to settle for a cheap one year deal with The Washington Nationals. The Nationals wanted a solid backup option if the oft-injured Ryan Zimmerman did get hurt, but with him healthy for the entire season, Lind was regulated to a bench role, but that’s ok. Adam hit .303/.362/.513 with 14 home runs, 59 RBI’s, and worth 120 wRC+, and .363 wOBA in only 301 plate appearances. Plus he provided utility at first base, and left field. Lind also clutched up when it came time to drive a guy in that was RISP. He had a .258/.336/.516 batting line with RISP, and .325/.384/.675 line with runners on base. However, his performance warranted at least a minor league contract.
So when off season time came around, Lind entered the market at 34 years of age. There were plenty of teams that could use a first base option. One was The Cleveland Indians who lost Carlos Santana in FA, but the team settled and signed with Yonder Alonso. Another team that could have used Lind’s services were The Twins as a DH, but went on to sign Logan Morrison. Tampa Bay was another team that could have pursued Lind, but made a swap with The Angels for C.J. Cron. However what killed Lind’s market is the position he plays. Lind is a first base/left field/DH with little speed, average glove, has an OK average, and has tons of power. With Lind, the previously mentioned Yonder Alonso, and Logan Morrison were free agents, along with Mike Napoli, Lucas Duda, Pedro Alvarez, Matt Adams, Mitch Moreland, and Todd Frazier. In the trading market, C.J. Cron (before the trade), and Ryon Healy were also options. Throw in the free agent freeze last season (like JDM signing in February), and Lind goes unsigned into spring training.
The NY Yankees signed Lind on March 2nd, a day into spring training, and he seemed to have a decent shot of making it. Greg Bird’s health and performance have been very inconsistent to say the least. Tyler Austin’s performance at the bigs has also not been great. However, Lind didn’t make the team out of ST, and released Adam on May 25th. A few days later, the rival Red Sox gave Adam another minor league contract, but went on to release him on August first.
In the end, I think The Yankees should have given him a chance. This season, first base has been their biggest weak spot in a line-up with power-houses like Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez (when healthy), and Aaron Judge (also when healthy), they could have taken the risk of having at the least platoon only bat with a veteran presence. While Bird could have done that as well, they still should have kept Lind around in case Bird got hurt again, or did not perform well when he was healthy in the majors, like he is now. But with Adam Lind exiting 2018 with not a single MLB game under his belt, this will go down as one of the biggest unjust doings in baseball within the last 10 years.