The Mets are reportedly willing to "consider" signing free agent Adam Lind, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. Olney notes that the club is looking to add a first baseman this winter, following the trade of Lucas Duda to the Rays last August. The New York Daily News reports that Lind is just one name on a long list of first base options that the Mets are pursuing this offseason.
With top prospect Dominic Smith, 22, finally ready for big league action, the Mets had hoped the bulky rookie would secure a spot in New York's lineup for the distant future. But Smith's first taste of the majors didn't go as smoothly as planned, and the 2013 first-rounder mustered just a .198/.262/.395 slash line in 49 MLB games. Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson went as far as to say Smith did not win the first base job for 2018, commenting on his poor conditioning throughout the 2017 season.
Lind and the Nationals agreed to decline his $5 million mutual option earlier this month, opting to pay Lind's $500k opt-out instead. Lind, 34, signed with Washington last offseason on a 1-year, $1.5 million deal, slashing .303/.362/.513 across 301 plate appearances. While Lind's big league career may be nearing the end of the road, his 123 OPS+ as a platoon first baseman indicates he still has a few seasons left in him.
Lind and Smith are both left-handed bats, so we can eliminate a natural platoon fit unless Smith is dealt or sent back to the minors. The Mets carry right-handed bat Kevin Plawecki on the 25-man roster, but the part-time first baseman has actually fared worse against lefties than righties in his three year career. Should the Mets agree to a deal with Lind, all signs point toward the veteran serving as the full-time starting first baseman in New York, which would certainly raise some questions: Do Alderson and the Mets believe Lind can drastically improve on his career .217/.263/.329 line against left-handers? Has New York given up on Smith as the first baseman of the future after just a third of a season in the majors?
In related Mets rumors, the club is interested in Tigers' second baseman Ian Kinsler (link) and free agent right-handers Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith (link). Our Anthony Spaulding broke down everything the Mets need this winter in our Offseason Preview series here.