Could Adam Lind be a stopgap at 1B for the Pittsburgh Pirates?


The Pittsburgh Pirates don’t have a lot of glaring needs this offseason.

But they do have areas where an upgrade would be most welcomed.

One of those areas is at first base. Pedro Alvarez – the incumbent – is tentatively penciled in to platoon (to what degree is uncertain) with Mike Morse. The face that the Pirates have wanted Alvarez gone for some time is likely the worst-kept secret in the entirety of the Pittsburgh sports landscape, if not the national baseball contingent.

The first base position in many ways is a perfect storm of present and future. With Josh Bell waiting in the wings with a presumable 2016 callup, the team would do well to consider a stopgap solution of sorts to improve at the position for a 2016 team that figures to be loaded.

Enter Adam Lind.

Lind – first baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers – is a name that was loosely tied to the Pirates at the 2015 deadline. Lind is a capable-enough hitter with a career OPS of .797 and five seasons of 20+ home runs under his belt. He’s a solid if not spectacular hitter with a .274/.332/.466 slash line. Striking out at a career clip of right around 20%, Lind is productive rather than flashy. He’s equally content to put the ball in play or out of the yard.

With Josh Bell waiting in the wings with a presumable 2016 callup, the team would do well to consider a stopgap solution of sorts to improve at the position for a 2016 team that figures to be loaded.

And he may be just what the Pirates need until Bell is ready.

Due to make $8 million this year – the last year of his contract – after the Brewers exercised the option, the left-handed hitting Lind can provide the Pirates an adequate L/R combo at first along with Morse.

The biggest benefit for the Pirates to do a deal to bring Lind in would be the perceived need for the Pirates to include Bell in their major league plans. And for once, a super two consideration may not be the driving factor. Bell is still earning first base, after all, and to throw him into the fire coming off of a poor defensive season at the position would feel counter-productive.

The two organizations make for good trade partners. The Brewers, finally committed to a rebuild that was truthfully two years late, are in need of something the Pirates can provide – minor league depth.

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Bleacher Report ranked all farm systems after the trade deadline this year, and the Brewers ranked thirteenth out of the 30 MLB clubs. (The Pirates ranked sixth). Missing from their top 10 prospects is a catcher and infield opitions.

The Pirates currently have C Reese McGuire and IFs Kevin Newman, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Cole Tucker, and Kevin Kramer all in their system. All are highly regarded and represent a glut of infield talent. With Elias Diaz ready to step up to the bigs, I believe that McGuire becomes a very tradeable piece. The Pirates could easily pair Diaz with a middle-to-low tier free agent signing, or heck – even a Francisco Cervelli extension.

The other names I mentioned here have begun working at other positions – save for Hayes – at various points. Newman, Tucker, and Kramer are all listed as SS but some have shifted around the diamond at times. While I don’t expect any major league Pittsburgh Pirates to swap jerseys, there are a ton of exciting options here for a team that is looking to stock its system.

The benefits are there for making this move. Unless the Pirates balk at sinking $12 million into one position (if reports are accurate that Morse will make $4 million after cash considerations from the Dodgers are factored in), this trade would make sense for both teams.

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