We can add free agent Adam Lind to the list of possible upgrades the New York Mets are considering at first base.
It probably could not have gone much worse for the Mets’ top first base prospect Dominic Smith in his 2017 debut. The young lefty finished the season with a batting average under the Mendoza line and an ugly .658 OPS.
On top of the poor production, Smith looked overweight and sluggish, both at the dish and in the field.
These are the reasons the Mets have been exploring the free agent first base market this offseason. Can you blame them? If the organization does not believe in Smith as a viable option next season, they should be out to get an upgrade.
That’s because this is a team that has the core to truly compete in 2018, which is why adding a slugger at first base could help push this team closer to 90 wins than the 70 from 2017.
As the Mets look around for first baseman, Adam Lind among the names they'll consider.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 27, 2017
Naturally, the Mets need to explore all options, and as ESPN’s Buster Olney reports, Adam Lind is indeed an option. But if Lind ends up being signed to be the solution for first base in 2018, there are some real problems.
This type of signing has never worked out for the Mets and it’s a Sandy Alderson special. Sign a veteran player that’s past his prime to a short-term deal, bypassing top-of-the-market options in the process.
Alright, maybe I’ll give him Marlon Byrd, who was solid in the outfield and hit for some power during his Mets’ tenure. He eventually went on to net the team some quality prospects in a deadline trade.
Lind will be 34 come Opening Day, which happens to be nine years removed from the last time he hit 30 home runs. He’s also just one season removed from a .239 batting average and .286 on-base percentage in 2016 with the Mariners.
The Nationals declined Lind’s $5 million option for 2018, and his main strength is hitting right-handers. Which leaves us thinking that the Mets want to take the cheap route to filling in the hole at first base.
But, if Lind is the answer, what’s the question? Yes, he can hit right-handers, but Smith at least showed promise this year in that column.
Smith actually hit all nine of his home runs against right-handers in only 136 at-bats. Lind smacked 14 home runs against righties in 2017 but did so over 238 at-bats, 102 more than Smith.
Why not just let Smith play at that point? The Mets should save the money they would spend on Lind and use it to bolster another area of need.
Adam Lind would be yet another low-budget move that just does not make sense in Queens.