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Yankees Potential Free Agent Target: Adam Lind

Should the Yankees bring in a backup first baseman?

MLB: Game Two-New York Mets at Washington Nationals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

This has been an exciting offseason for the Yankees so far, and it’s only December. After the season ended, the Yankees needed rotation help, and to solve their DH problem. Brian Cashman did the unthinkable and traded for Giancarlo Stanton. Although he isn’t expected to be the team’s full-time DH, his bat makes an already good lineup even better. The Yankees have also gotten rid of Chase Headley, and re-signed CC Sabathia. The team has improved overall, but there are still some areas where they could use some help. Should they consider signing Adam Lind?

Lind was drafted by the Blue Jays in 2004, and spent the next ten years in Toronto’s organization. After being traded to Milwaukee following the 2014 season, Lind has bounced around between the Brewers, Mariners, and Nationals over the past three years. The 34-year-old had a down year in Seattle, and finished the 2016 season worth -0.6 fWAR. He struggled with the Mariners, but a change of scenery seemed to help in Washington last year. Over 267 at-bats, Lind hit .303/.362/.513 with 14 home runs and 122 wRC+. The left-hander was limited to a part-time role and spent most of his time at first base, but played some left field as well.

It would have made more sense for the Yankees to sign Lind prior to the Stanton trade. The Yankees certainly have no need for another outfielder. However, now that Headley is back with the Padres, the Yankees will need to make some decisions about first base. Greg Bird has more than earned the starting role, but it’s unclear who the backup would be. The Yankees could go with Tyler Austin, but they might want a veteran on the team.

Given all the injuries to the Yankees’ first basemen last season, it’d be better to have too many options than too few. Lind isn’t a defensive wizard, but he probably wouldn’t be as awful for the Yankees as Chris Carter was. Granted, we seem to say that about one player (Brian Roberts) or another (Stephen Drew) every year.

It’s difficult to predict what kind of deal Lind might land. His contract with the Nationals was for just $1.5 million, with some incentive bonuses. That deal also included a $5 million mutual option in 2018, but the Nats only had to pay a $0.5 million buyout. He is coming off of a better season, so he won’t be that cheap, but shouldn’t be crazy expensive either. If the Yankees don’t sign him (and they probably won’t), Lind could end up in New York anyway as the Mets have reportedly shown some interest.

Do you think the Yankees should roll with Tyler Austin as the backup first baseman, or go with a free agent option like Lind?