The Washington Nationals bolster their bench by adding veteran first baseman Adam Lind on a one-year deal with a 2018 club option, according to FOX’s Ken Rosenthal. Jon Heyman of FanRag reports that Lind is taking a physical and SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports that it is a Major League deal.
Now, when I first heard this move being announced, I was questioning this move by saying “Why would the Nationals add Lind to the fold when they have Zimmerman at first and that Lind only plays first base.” Well, they did this to add a nice punch off the bench and a chance to spell both Zimmerman and Werth when they need a day off.
With this move happening, it seems that Clint Robinson’s days as a National are numbered, unless he takes a trip to Triple-A, which is fine, as he provides solid depth.
Now, Lind taking time away from Werth is a risk, as Lind has not played the outfield since the 2010 season as a Blue Jay. Also, he has never graded well in the outfield, but it is an option for the team. Zimmerman and Lind seems like the better platoon option.
In addition, Lind had a down year, but still showed some pop at the plate by knocking out 20 homers in 126 games. It is okay, as Zimmerman’s production is on the decline, as he has failed to hit 20 homers and bat over .270 the past two seasons (.249 & .218). Lind is two seasons away from a solid 2015 season by swinging a well-rounded stick that helped him hit 20 homers and drive in 87 RBI, while batting .277 and recording a high on-base percentage of .360 and slugging percentage of .460.
In favor of Adam Lind, I do think playing in Safeco Field (Seattle) did hurt him at the plate, as it is a pitcher’s park.
Finally, if Adam Lind finds his 2015 form, and if Ryan Zimmerman struggles, I could see the end of the Ryan Zimmerman era in the nation’s capital or Zimmerman only batting against lefties with Lind getting majority of the games against right-handed pitching.
Note: Zimmerman is owed $14MM for this year and for the 2018 season, then in 2019 he is owed $18MM with a 2020 club option for $18 mil with a buyout for $2MM. He has a full no-trade clause.