With the reported signing of first baseman Adam Lind, the Washington Nationals fill a big hole on the bench
There are only a few days left until position players are supposed to report for spring training at West Palm Beach for the Washington Nationals. With that being said, the Nats weren’t done adding position players. Earlier today, Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio was the first to report the Nats were nearing a deal with first baseman/left fielder Adam Lind, pending a physical:
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Adam Lind close to signing with #Nationals according to source
Last season with the Seattle Mariners, Lind had a slash line of .239/.286/.431 with 20 home runs and 58 RBI’s in 126 games. The 33-year-old left-handed hitter (turns 34 in July) has hit 20 or more home runs in six of his last eight seasons, including 35 with the Toronto Blue Jays back in 2009.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports/MLB Network and Chris Cotillo of SB Nation had more on the terms of the deal, even though the amount of money Lind will be getting if he passes his physical is not yet known:
Source confirms: #Nationals signing Lind to one-year deal with club option, pending physical. First reported: @JimBowden_ESPN.
When you look at this move, Lind brings more power to the table for a Washington Nationals squad that hit 203 home runs last season (fourth in the National League). Plus, it adds more insurance for the team at first base if Ryan Zimmerman gets hurt during the season.
Lind will likely play more against right-handed pitching when you look at his career splits. Over the course of his 11-year career, he has a .287 average against right-handed pitching compared to hitting only .215 against lefties. Plus, Lind is a lifetime .309 hitter in pinch-hitting situations with five home runs. (according to Baseball Reference)
With the Washington Nationals needing some power off the bench, this move makes a lot of sense. Last year, the Nats were third in the NL with 12 home runs by their pinch-hitters. Lind only had 19 at-bats as a pinch-hitter last year, but did have a home run with three runs batted in.
Now that it looks like Lind will be in the fold, it does look like the end for Clint Robinson as the backup first baseman. The 32-year-old is out of options and is coming off a season where he hit .235 with five home runs and had a .184 average as a pinch-hitter (11 strikeouts).
Yes, the Washington Nationals still have needs in the bullpen and some may say the catcher position since Matt Wieters is still available. However, Lind brings more depth to the roster and a left-handed power bat that the team needs off the bench. Plus, if Robinson is off the roster, a spot is still open. It’s safe to say Mike Rizzo might’ve found an excellent deal this late in the offseason.