With both Nelson Cruz and Delmon Young now free agents, the Orioles could possibly be without two crucial bats next season. Little surprise that Dan Duquette is perusing the trade market to see what he can find. Before Adam Lind was traded to the Brewers, the Orioles checked in with the Blue Jays to see if they could work out a deal. According to MASN's Roch Kubatko, Toronto asked for Steve Pearce in return. That was the end of the trade discussions.
The 31-year-old Lind was ultimately traded to Milwaukee for Marco Estrada. Lind will make $7.5 million in 2015, with an available team option for $8 million for 2016. That's not a bad price in and of itself for a guy coming off a season where he batted .321/.381/.479. Who knew a player was allowed to have an on-base percentage that high? The problem with the lefty-batting Lind is that he's played fewer than 100 games in two of the last three seasons.
Well, that's one problem. Another problem is that in a three-year stretch from 2010-2012, during which Lind was in his age 26-28 seasons, Lind put up a batting line of .246/.296/.428, good for an OPS+ of 94. He rebounded for two good seasons in 2013 and 2014, with the '14 campaign being abbreviated by injuries. How could the Orioles have known which of these players they'd be getting?
Still another problem is that Lind has a career OPS of .588 against left-handed pitchers, and he reached the point this past season where he was buried against LHP: he only had 37 appearances against lefties all year and managed a mere two singles. He might have made an interesting, if expensive, platoon partner for Pearce. Swapping the two of them would have made no sense for the Orioles.
Roch muses about how this trade might have impacted Chris Davis. If Lind would have made Davis expendable in their eyes, so that they could deal him without worrying about finding his replacement, that could have been interesting. Not if the Jays wanted Pearce, though.
There must be something the Jays really like about Pearce; they also tried to get him while Pearce was briefly a free agent following his DFA. Pearce spurned that offer to return to Baltimore in the wake of Davis' trip to the disabled list.
It's telling that Lind ended up being traded for Estrada, a pitcher who's coming off a season in which he had a 4.36 ERA over 150.2 innings, in the National League, while gave up home runs at a Matuszian pace. That guy is going to go pitch in Toronto? Good luck with that one, Jays. You're going to need it. That's the kind of value Lind has to the rest of the league, which doesn't sound like much value at all.
As Buck Showalter likes to say, "I like our guys." Pearce is undoubtedly one of our guys. If the Jays would like to get their hands on him, they're going to have to do better than that.