I like Adam Lind. Really, I do. He’s a fantastic hitter and his somewhat aloof personality (at least what we can glean from the brief interactions we have with him through interviews) is somewhat refreshing to the usual robot responses from professional athletes.
And as one of the longest serving Blue Jays there’s a certain soft spot for the Man from Muncie.
So with all that said, the next part doesn’t come terribly easy.
They should look to trade him.
With two holes in the outfield, one in the infield and a bullpen to rework, the Jays have a fair amount to do this offseason. It’s hard to imagine there’s a lot of money to go around. I took Paul Beeston’s recent comments (http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/beeston-blue-jays-expect-payroll-to-rise-in-2015) with a more optimistic view than most. To me, the fact he “expects to spend more than $135-137 million on its roster” next year is a good sign. Unlike last year, putting an actual number out there isn’t the vague doublespeak we’re used to.
Still, though, it’s hard to imagine they have enough money to solve everything through free agency.
And that’s where Lind comes in. He’s got a ton of value based on the fact he’s one of the best hitters in baseball against right handed pitching (third best wRC+ versus right handed pitching this year, minimum 250 PA). His option is also a paltry $7.5 million. Sure he has warts, injury problems and a complete inability to hit left handed pitching among them. And really, both him and Edwin Encarnacion should primarily be designated hitters.
Given the choice between EE and Lind, it’s pretty obvious who you take.
I would think Lind could be the centerpiece of a deal to acquire an infielder or outfielder, and shedding his 2015 salary could go a long way. It just seems like a better way to distribute those dollars.
Besides, there are potential options at first base. You could keep EE there and go with a DH-by-committee. With some aging position players that’s not a terrible idea.
There’s also Daric Barton, who recently became a free agent. Barton shouldn’t cost much, the defensive metrics like him, and his minor league numbers are strong. He’s maintained a strong walk rate, good on base skills, and not terrible power. Sure, he’s a few years removed from his last really good year in the big leagues, but it almost appears like he just hasn’t been given the opportunity.
Or there’s Yozzen Cuesta, the Cuban first baseman who defected last year – while in a tournament in Canada! – and is eligible to sign with a MLB team. I couldn’t find any information on him, save for this, which is good enough for me: http://www.theootpelite.com/toe/reports/players/player_46991.html.