The New York Mets are still working on their offseason priority list, and the surprising position they are looking to upgrade is first base. Top prospect Dominic Smith didn’t make a strong impression in September, leading General Manager Sandy Alderson to hint that the team is exploring its options at first. The Mets have already showed interest in free agent first baseman Carlos Santana and is willing to bring back Jay Bruce as a first base option. Another name that can be added to the list is former Washington Nationals’ reserve Adam Lind, who ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Mets are considering for the first base job.
Lind, 34, batted .303 with 14 homers in 116 games for the Nationals last season. The Nationals had Lind split time between first base and left field during the season, which would fit Alderson’s criteria for a first baseman who can also play in the corner outfield. Lind is left handed, like Smith, and has historically hit better against righties (.288) than lefties (.217). Over the course of his career, Lind has averaged 16 homers and 60 RBI’s per year with a .272 batting average. While those numbers are solid, the idea of the Mets committing significant resources to Lind is frustrating.
Smith wasn’t very productive in his late season audition, but guys like Santana or Logan Morrison could be justifiable upgrades over him. Lind has been pretty much a journeyman player for the past five years, failing to build on the early promise he showed for the Toronto Blue Jays. Smith won’t get better by going back to Las Vegas, and the only way to let him develop is to get him big league at bats. Its fair for the Mets to try and balance Smith’s development with their goal of winning, but picking up Lind really isn’t enough of an upgrade to justify a significant cut in Smith’s playing time. It would be yet another cheap move by a franchise that has spent way too much time bargain hunting instead of looking for legitimate answers to its question areas.