WASHINGTON — Now that the World Series in the rearview mirror, the Washington Nationals were free to introduce the next manager of their franchise and attend to some of the paperwork that comes with the offseason.
Like declining the mutual option of bench slugger Adam Lind.
Under a mutual option situation, a contract does not kick in unless both sides agree. When news broke on Thursday evening, it was initially unclear which side had decided to part ways. Now we know:
Lind made $1.5 million in 2017, which was a bargain by any metric. The mutual option was reportedly worth $5 million.
Letting Lind go is a bit of a departure from what Nats general manager Mike Rizzo told 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies in early August. Vince in Dunkirk, asking the Burke & Herbert Bank Fan Question of the Week, wanted to know if Lind would still be a bargain at $5 million.
“He’s a good player,” Rizzo said at the time. “He’s a guy that we thought in the back of our minds that could be an everyday guy for us. He’s a person that you’re not afraid to play for a long period of time.
“He’s not your typical bench guy. If you project his numbers out, he’s probably well worth that, yeah.”
Even if he is well worth the investment, the Nats are not keen to spend it. Instead, Lind will become a free agent, and could potentially land back with the Nats at a discounted rate.
It’s worth noting that Lind appeared in 116 games for the Nats last season, which is more than Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth and Trea Turner. He had stellar production at the plate, batting .303/.362/.513 in 301 plate appearances while spending time in the field at both first base and left field.
He also provided a WAR of 0.8 and could land on a team where he gets additional playing time in 2018.