Could Adam Lind still be a trade asset for the Toronto Blue Jays?
Though the fact that GM Alex Anthopoulos opted to pick up the 30-year-old’s $7 million option for the 2014 season for him to continue being the team’s platoon DH vs. RHP might have rendered the question a little less pressing, the subsequent retirement of Mark DeRosa, coupled with Rajai Davis likely departing via free agency as well, has thrown a new wrinkle into the scenario.
Not that it’s entirely anything that Lind can control, but some of his value to the team hinges on the availability of an available, affordable platoon-mate that would be able to complement him to give the team reasonable production at the DH spot at below market rate. If said player is no longer around and the team has to either move existing assets or use up valuable payroll room to find that person, well … why not just go after a DH who can hit both LHP and RHP?
Besides, even though the “what have you done for me lately?” side of Lind tells us that he was a 1.8 fWAR player with 23 homers and a resurgent .854 OPS over 521 PA in 2013, it’s also worth pointing out that there’s a much larger sample size — almost three seasons, in fact — of him being arguably the worst player at his position in the entire MLB through 2010-2012.
So while the team is unlikely to say it, given that the slugger is one of the highest-paid Blue Jays in 2014 and that his floor is so embarrassingly low … wouldn’t you say he’s a good sell-high candidate?
Now that there’s some cost certainty applied to Lind, Toronto may be able to start shopping him around in earnest and if anything, the power would make him an intriguing sell. It’s no secret that homers are increasingly difficult to find around the bigs, and it’s something that the Bluebirds have an excess of. Even when Lind was terrible, the one thing that never really changed was his power, as he’s hit at least 23 of them in four of the last five seasons.
That should make him at least a point of interest to a number of potential suitors looking for power like the Pittsburgh Pirates (who already have a good platoon partner waiting in Gaby Sanchez), Tampa Bay Rays (who would have to get creative to make first base work in 2014) and New York Mets, who may be at the ropes with former 33-HR man Ike Davis to the point where he’s not even considered a platoon candidate.
The point, I suppose, is that if there was ever going to be a time to move the longtime Bluebird, this offseason would seem like as good a time to do it as any … mostly because they finally can.
But what benefit would it have for the Blue Jays? Well … for one, they’d save the payroll space that they can then use and get creative to find a solution to one of their more pressing, more expensive needs — like the one in the starting rotation.
As for the DH spot, that’s something that the the team should be able to fill with a more affordable option (or options), especially considering that the team in still ranked ninth in total runs scored (712) and fourth in homers (185) in 2013 despite a disastrous campaign that saw numerous regulars (J.P. Arencibia, Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes, etc.) miss significant time.
With a healthy season from Reyes, a rebound from Brett Lawrie, and a second baseman that isn’t a total black hole, the team should be able to live with the 1.8 fWAR hit — and that’s in a best-case scenario for Lind, anyway.
It’s nothing that the Blue Jays need to do per se, but considering that Lind’s value to other teams may never be higher, it’s at least worth considering. I mean, a lost platoon DH would be pretty low on the list of the team’s current issues, no?