Friday, May 18, 2012

Adam Lind's Leash Runs Out


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Image courtesy of Daylife via Reuters Pictures
My apologies for being a little late to the party with a reaction to the Adam Lind demotion. I wanted to let my thoughts percolate for a while on the issue and formulate a somewhat coherent post, rather than just my knee-jerk reaction.

Much like with Travis Snider last season, I don't think Adam Lind's demotion to Triple A was warranted. So it came as a shock that month and a half into the season, the Blue Jays decided that the best thing for Lind was to send him to Las Vegas and work out the kinks.

I definitely think that Brett Lawrie's suspension had something to do with this move. With Lawrie still occupying a roster spot, the Blue Jays needed somebody to take over the hot corner for the weekend.

It's really all about timing; Lind was about 45 days away from accumulating  5 years of service time, which would've allowed him the right to refuse minor league assignment (hat tip to @Minor_Leaguer). Rather than release or demote a player that didn't really deserve it, the Blue Jays chose to burn Adam Lind's last remaining option.

Some are saying that this could be the last we'll ever see of Adam Lind with the Toronto Blue Jays, but I don't believe the end is nigh for him. For one, it doesn't really make sense to trade Lind right now because his value could not be any lower.

Secondly, finding a taker for the remainder of his contract would be an adventure in itself. Nearly every American League team has an established first baseman, so the National League is really the only prospective landing spot for Adam Lind.

Here's the thing about Adam Lind; 2009 was a career year for him, but ever since then ... he's been the same player that he's always been. I don't think much has changed with Lind, he hits for power, he doesn't draw many walks, and he's an okay defender.

The only thing that has changed ... is the expectations for Adam Lind.

With the American League (and especially the AL East) being a hotbed for slugging first baseman, Lind simply doesn't measure up to the competition. I don't think the Blue Jays necessarily need somebody the calibre of Adrian Gonzalez at first, just so long as that offensive output is made up at some other position.

Adam Lind is one of the lone holdovers from the previous Blue Jays regime, and while the team as a whole has upgraded at most of the positions, first base has always remained a point of contention. So maybe that's why the expectations for Lind have risen to such great heights.

I don't doubt that Adam Lind will be back with the Blue Jays in the near future. But moving forward, Lind's position within the Blue Jays organization has really come into question.

Unless Alex Anthopoulos has a clear vision to upgrade the first base position, maybe the best solution might be to just let Adam Lind ride things out and decline his option years; a similar situation the Blue Jays potentially faced with Aaron Hill.

For better or worse, Adam Lind is not the reason why the Blue Jays are 21-18. If he performed better, Toronto might have a marginally better record, but it takes more than one player to make that much of a difference.

Trust me, it frustrates me just as much as you to see Adam Lind clog up the cleanup spot in the Blue Jays lineup. But that's not Adam Lind's fault, that's John Farrell's fault for continuing to parade him out there for 21 games in the four spot.

At his low base salary, the Blue Jays can continue to afford to employ Adam Lind at first base. There are certainly much worse options out there at a much higher price tag right now. Maybe it requires a creative solution on the part of the manager and general manager to maximize what's left in Adam Lind's bat.

Lind's leash may have run out, but his time with the Blue Jays has not.

1 comment:

  1. Mat Duheme, Kev Langdon, Hunter Slawek, Sameer Kotwal, Ashish Rana: go jays go!

    ReplyDelete

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