The Boston Red Sox added some depth at first base by signing a veteran journeyman. Adam Lin joins the organization by lacing up his cleats in Pawtucket. What kind of impact could he have?
On Tuesday, May 29, the Boston Red Sox inked veteran first baseman Adam Link to a minor league deal. He will serve as depth for the major league roster, playing just an hour south in Pawtucket. This comes on the heels of the team designating Hanley Ramirez for assignment when Dustin Pedroia came off the disabled list.
Lind was released by the New York Yankees last week after posting a 99 wRC+. He played in 16 games for their AAA affiliate in Scranton/Wilke-Barre. With Tyler Austin looking like an above average hitter and Greg Bird‘s return, they didn’t need the depth.
He may have had an opt-out if not called up by a certain point. Or the Yankees may simply have released him so that he could pursue an opportunity with another club.
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There is no word yet on whether he has an opt-out date with the Red Sox. That said, he certainly has a better chance of playing in the majors in Boston than he did in New York.
Mitch Moreland is the only true first baseman on the 25 man roster. That means only Sam Travis and his 87 wRC+ at AAA is in the way. So he’s just a 10 day DL stint away from playing in the majors again.
What are the Boston Red Sox getting?
Over the last five seasons, Adam Lind has posted wRC+’s of 132, 142, 120, 92 and 122. He hit 20 or more home runs in three of those seasons and hit 14 last year with the Washington Nationals.
His low season was just six in 2014, but he only played in 96 games. There’s a pretty good chance he is still an above average bat. Though at age 34 it’s also possible his decline is well underway.
The risk to the Red Sox is virtually nil. At the very least, he represents an upgrade over what Hanley Ramirez provided the team in 2017. At worst, he could give the team the majority of that production should he be called upon. He may even be capable of the majority of Hanley’s 2016 campaign.
This isn’t the kind of signing that alters the fortunes of a franchise. But it does protect them from catastrophic injury while they wait for Josh Ockimey to finish his development.
We may never see Adam Lind in a Boston Red Sox uniform at Fenway Park, but we will feel his presence in the peace of mind he offers. This is a good move for a cash-strapped team.