When the Red Sox designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment at the end of last week, they cleared some money in the long run and made their roster more flexible, but they also eliminated a chunk of depth at first base. They are clearly confident in Mitch Moreland as an everyday player, but if he gets hurt they are left with names like Blake Swihart, Brock Holt or Sam Travis to fill in. Any or all of them could be fine there, but they are either not true first basemen, not proven major-league hitters, or both. Well, enter Adam Lind. The long-time Blue Jay has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Red Sox, as first reported by Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston.
Sources: Red Sox close to signing Adam Lind to a minor league deal.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) May 29, 2018
This obviously isn’t any sort of major game-changer or anything like that, but Lind does add another option to the first base depth chart, and the most experienced one in the group. He’s on the opposite end of his career as the other names, in the midst of his age-34 season, but he is still hitting well. He spent 2017 in the majors with the Nationals and he hit .303/.362/.513 for a 124 OPS+. It should be noted that this was mostly a platoon role, but it’s clearly very productive. He spent most of this year to date in the Yankees minor-league system, and while he never got a chance to play in the majors for them he hit well in 94 plate appearances. Between Triple-A and High-A, Lind slashed .302/.362/.477 before being released by the Yankees when it was clear he wasn’t going to have much of a chance at playing time there.
The one strange part about this is that Boston added another left-handed first baseman rather than looking for a veteran righty to potentially pair with Moreland. Of course, we’re talking about minor-league signings at the end of May, so it’s not as if the Red Sox have their pick of depth options. Lind has had a ton of major-league success, and he’s been a good hitter as recently as last season. For a team that needs first base depth, this makes a ton of sense. Lind will report to Pawtucket.