This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of a possible link between the Jays and the Pirates regarding that club’s first base situation, but why should that stop us from looking at it again? Especially since, according to this tweet from Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, there appears to have been some actual dialogue. Y’know, maybe.
Pirates discussing multiple trade options for first base vacancy, including Adam Lind and Logan Morrison, sources say. @FOXSports1
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 9, 2013
The defensive metrics sure don’t like Edwin Encarnacion at first base, but he provides more than enough lumber to make up for whatever deficiencies he may have there (plus, he looks perfectly passable by the ol’ eye test, I’d say), so I don’t think I’d have an issue with the Jays shipping Lind off to Pittsburgh– or anywhere, really– in that regard. Nor would I have an issue with the club finding a DH (or an even better-fielding first baseman) without such a crazy platoon split. But despite how maligned he’s been over the years in certain corners of the internet (like this one!), and how streaky some may feel that he can be, it’s undeniable that Lind’s is a pretty large bat to be taking out of this lineup in its own right– against right-handed pitching, at least– and would certainly require some additional manoeuvring that might not end up making the club better.
Could the Jays find a pair platoon guys to DH who maybe have some more defensive versatility, and who could maybe even save them a little bit of cash to spend on pitching? I’d have to say I think it’s possible, and an intriguing option. But damn, Lind sure hit right-handers well last year. The last two years, even, believe it or not.
Against right-handed pitching in 2013 he was the 12th best qualified hitter in baseball in 2013, and over the last two seasons, among 224 players with over 500 PA against righties, he ranked 23rd in the split. Not too effing bad!
Needing a caddy or not, there’s some pretty tremendous value there, and for a good price, I think, at $7-million, with only slightly larger club options (with smaller buyouts than this year’s $2-million one) for each of the next two years. In other words, not a guy the Jays should be in a rush to move, but one who ought to net them something of quality in return, plus some flexibility to maybe wring a different kind of value out of the DH position. And with Gaby Sanchez in place for the Pirates, they’ve got an excellent platoon possibility for themselves.
Does Pittsburgh have what we’re looking for, though? Not sure that I see it. They’ve got some great prospects, though that’s not exactly what Alex Anthopoulos is aiming for at the moment, and I’d certainly not think they’d be giving up a MLB-ready starter or a roster player from outside of the bullpen. So, what then?
I honestly don’t know. Maybe we’ll soon find out though! I just wouldn’t hold my breath– it’s the Winter Meetings, after all!
So… there’s that.