Sep 7, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Adam Lind (26) hits a three run home run in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
An interesting piece of
news gossip just popped up on Twitter, courtesy of ESPN’s Jason Stark. Apparently, the Pittsburgh Pirates have inquired about the availability of Blue Jays first baseman/designated hitter Adam Lind.
Stark does preface the tweet by noting that the Pirates are narrowing their list down and James Loney appears to be the favorite. They have also talked to Texas about the availability of the recently indoctrinated spare part Mitch Moreland.
The Pirates are looking to upgrade at first base this winter, with Gaby Sanchez serving as the incumbent and last year’s trading deadline acquisition Justin Morneau recently signing in Colorado. At 30-years-old, Lind would certainly represent an upgrade there, coming off of a bounce-back year in Toronto where he hit a solid .288 with 23 home runs, 67 RBI, and a .854 OPS. His wRC+ of 132 and his Wins Above Replacement of 1.8 are both 4-year highs. With three years of team control at a reasonable price of $7.5 million AAV, Lind fits into the budget-conscious Pirates picture.
The Blue Jays could handle moving Lind for the purpose of upgrading the team, and could go to Moises Sierra as a replacement next season, especially with Sierra taking reps at first base this winter. And with Sierra out of options, the Blue Jays may be motivated to find a spot for him.
But what can the Blue Jays get in return aside from salary relief? Jordy Mercer could be an intriguing piece, but would likely cost the Blue Jays more than Lind. Perhaps a spare bullpen arm? The Pirates are also pretty rife with catching prospects that could be intriguing to the Blue Jays as long term acquisitions.
It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out, as this is really the first time we’ve heard Lind mentioned as a possible trade piece. The salary relief alone may be worth it in terms of utilizing it toward the starting pitching market.