10:43am: The Yankees have confirmed the move.
10:39am: While the team has yet to announce a move, Randy Miller of NJ Advance Media reports that the Yankees released first baseman Adam Lind after yesterday’s game (Twitter link). Billy Witz of the New York Times tweets that Lind’s locker has been cleared out in the Yankees clubhouse and adds that he, too, hears the veteran is no longer with the organization.
Lind, 34, reportedly had an opt-out date in his minor league deal with the Yankees, but that wasn’t set to come until March 22. It’s not clear at this time whether he’ll quickly line up an arrangement with another organization or if he’ll have to explore the market for a few days before landing in a new spot. He went 3-for-15 (all singles) with five strikeouts and a walk in 16 plate appearances with the Yankees this spring.
Jack Curry of the YES Network tweets that Lind candidly told him he didn’t see a path to 300+ plate appearances when asked yesterday, which indeed would’ve been tough to envision, barring injuries elsewhere on the roster. Greg Bird is slated to serve as the everyday first baseman in New York and, like Lind, is a left-handed hitter. Tyler Austin provides a right-handed-hitting complement to Bird, and newly signed Neil Walker could conceivably see some backup time at first base if needed. There’s no room for Lind in the Yankees outfield, either, with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury all on the 25-man roster.
Last season with the Nationals, Lind slashed .303/.362/.512 with 14 homers in 301 plate appearances. That served as a nice rebound effort from a poor 2016 effort in Seattle and made that lone down year appear to be largely aberrational in nature. Lind has posted an OPS+ of 123 or better in four of the past five seasons, batting a combined .282/.348/.473 through 2142 plate appearances in that time. Of course, that production has come almost entirely against right-handed pitching, as Lind’s struggles against lefties has been a well-documented issue throughout his big league career.