After a strong showing during his only season with the Brewers in 2015, Adam Lind was acquired to work on the large side of a platoon at first base for the Mariners. Although he managed to repeat his home run total from the previous year while making significantly fewer trips to the plate (430), Lind took a step back with his plate discipline via his highest strikeout rate (20.7 percent) since 2010 and his lowest walk rate (6.0 percent) since 2011. The resulting slash line combined with poor defense at first base led him to finish as a sub-replacement-level player for the third time in his big league career. The Mariners moved on during the offseason, and it seems likely that Lind will be limited to clubs in the American League as he seeks a new home for 2017. At age 33, there is little reason to believe he will figure things out against southpaws (career .215/.260/.329) and pile up the playing time volume that made him a nice source of value in Milwaukee.
Lind says his struggles at the plate last season came from stubbornly trying to pull the ball through infield shifts rather than going the other way, The Washington Post reports. "He said he's gotten a little pull happy so perhaps we can get him back to the center of the field, the big part of the ballpark," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Friday. While Lind did pop 20 or more home runs in 2016 for the sixth time in his career, he also slashed .239/.286/.431 while pulling the ball 39.5 percent of the time, a far cry from his 2014 performance when he hit .321/.381/.479 with a pull rate of just 31.4 percent. Ryan Zimmerman remains the Nats' starter at first base, but his own health issues and declining offense make him far from a sure thing. If Lind can get back to his 2014 form at the plate, he could force his way into a much larger role.
Lind agreed to a contract with the Nationals on Monday pending a physical, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. There were earlier reports speculating a deal, and it seems that the reports became true sooner than expected. With this deal, Lind will likely head into spring training with the hopes of providing depth for the Nationals at first base and in the corner outfield spots. He'll likely need to outperform Clint Robinson during spring training to completely claim the spot, but Lind seems to be in line to be a solid lefty bat off of Washington's bench.
Lind is nearing a contract agreement with the Nationals, Jim Bowden of ESPN reports. The veteran first baseman was dealt to the Mariners last year after a productive season in Milwaukee, although a disappointing season in Seattle has sapped the market of any interest for his services. If this deal goes through, Lind would likely compete with Clint Robinson for a spot as Ryan Zimmerman's backup at first base, although it would take a lot for Lind to regain his standing as a fantasy-relevant first baseman.
Lind is not in Sunday's lineup against the A's, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. Dae-Ho Lee will start at first bast while Lind gets the day off. Although he's hitting just .239/.286/.431 for the year, Lind has seen his production at the plate increase recently. Over the last 30 games, he's put up a .288/.382/.441 line.
Lind had two hits, including a double, in a loss to the A's on Saturday. Lind finished a disappointing year hitting .315 in his last 15 games with two homers, three doubles and eight walks in that span. He's given the M's enough power with 20 home runs, but after hitting .291 last season and .354 in 2014 against right-handers, he's struggled this year, batting .239/.287/.442 against righties. One a one-year deal, he likely won't be back with the Mariners next season.