The Mets are now two weeks away from starting a probably-done Adrian Gonzalez at first base on Opening Day. With just one extra base hit in 30 at-bats so far, the 35-year-old Gonzalez has shown very little through the first three weeks of Spring Training to give the Mets any faith in him contributing to the team in 2018. It's time for them to pivot.
Luckily, a perfectly reasonable replacement was cut by the Yankees on Wednesday. After the Yanks signed former Met Neil Walker, Adam Lind became an unnecessary piece and was DFA'ed. The Mets should jump at the opportunity to sign him.
When the Mets signed Gonzalez to the veteran minimum this offseason, I was cautiously optimistic. But his decline that began in 2016 seems legitimate, so it's time to look elsewhere, and Lind is a fit. Others have begun to make a similar case for the lefthanded veteran, and a platoon with righty Wilmer Flores would be a boon to the Mets offense.
Lind slashed .303/.362/.503 last year (.303/.364/.534 vs RHP’s) as the left handed bat in the Washington Nationals' first base platoon, so although he’s not much younger (34) than Gonzalez, he’s proven he can produce in a limited role far more recently than Gonzalez has. If Lind and Flores were to split time there (although Lind can also hold his own against lefties), the Mets not only get a reliable lefty bat in their lineup, but Flores receives more opportunities to face lefties, whom he has traditionally mashed against.
If the Mets are serious about contending this year, they need to really think about what it means to have such a huge offensive minus as their first baseman. Cutting Gonzalez would cost the team virtually nothing, which is part of the reason why they signed him in the first place, and Lind would likely command a similarly frugal pay day. Make the call, and put this team in the best position it can to win.
BACK AT IT! Kick off the 2023 home season with us at Citi Field on Thursday April 6th. The game is at 1:10pm so plan to be there bright and early. The Mets take on the Marlins, and as usual we'll be hanging out before in the Marina Lot.
T7L contributing blogger - Follow Tim on Twitter