Detroit Tigers: Free agent Adam Lind could be a nice fit
By Andy Patton
The Detroit Tigers have an opportunity to add a temporary fill-in at first base after the Red Sox released slugger Adam Lind.
The Detroit Tigers have a hole at first base. Miguel Cabrera‘s season ending injury forced the Tigers to start converted catcher John Hicks over there. As a first baseman this year, Hicks has slashed a pedestrian .266/.321/.404 with six home runs. He’s a fine fill-in for now, but the Tigers have an opportunity to add a veteran who will give them something they desperately need this season: left-handed hitting.
Adam Lind was fantastic in a part-time role for the Nationals last season. The veteran slugger slashed .303/.362/.513 with 14 home runs and a 122 wRC+, primarily facing right-handed pitching.
He has not had the same success in 2018 however. Lind has yet to reach the big leagues, playing in Triple-A for both the Yankees and the Red Sox. He was released following a .216/.270/.398 line with Pawtucket, where he hit eight home runs in 46 games.
Lind is a career .272 hitter with 200 career home runs and a 111 wRC+. He’s always been an above average contributor with the stick, and although he’s 35 years old it’s hard to imagine that his performance from last season is gone.
Lind will likely garner a fair amount of attention on the open market. Contending teams who are looking for a bench bat could be interested in Lind, who has playoff experience. He is just a 1B/DH at this point, so he’s more likely to garner attention from AL teams.
Why the match works
For the Tigers, Lind would give the team a sorely needed left-handed hitter. Leonys Martin, who was just traded to Cleveland, was Detroit’s only pure left-handed hitter. The team now has Jim Adduci and Mike Gerber who hit from the left-side, but both are bench bats at the moment.
Jeimer Candelario, Victor Martinez, Victor Reyes and Niko Goodrum are all switch-hitters, but it’s apparent the team could use more oomph against right-handers. The Detroit Tigers are slashing just .234/.292/.368 against right-handers on the season. Lind would immediately provide a boost in that regard, and should cost very little.
Lind likely won’t get any big league offers. If he gets a handful of minor league offers, he may choose to sign with a playoff bound team instead of Detroit. However, his best chance at playing time might be in Detroit, where he could immediately take over as a platoon bat who starts against right-handers at either first or as the DH.
Ultimately, Lind would just be a temporary stopgap before the Tigers find a new first base option for 2019. However, he’d help the team be a little more competitive in 2018, and would cost very little. That alone is at least worth checking in on for Detroit Tigers GM Al Avila.