Lind will be 32 years old in 2016 and will make $8 million. His best year in the major leagues was way back in 2009 when he hit .305/.370/.562 with 35 home runs and 114 RBI. He was worth 3.3 WAR, according to Fangraphs. Of course, that was a long time ago and Lind has had his ups and downs since then. He played the first nine years of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays before joining the Milwaukee Brewers before last season. Lind played in just 96 games in 2014 because of a fractured foot, but came back to play in 149 games last season. Over the last three years, Lind has hit .291/.364/.478. His defense is generally regarded as below-average, so his bat is the main reason the Mariners acquired him.
Lind should be a solid upgrade over last year’s first baseman, Logan Morrison. He’s a good on-base percentage guy with 20-homer power. One drawback to his game is career long struggles against left-handed pitching. Versus lefties in his career, Lind has hit .213/.259/.327. Against righties, he’s hit .293/.354/.509. That’s a huge difference and suggests the Mariners should do some platooning with him. It could be Jesus Montero who gets the playing time at first base against left-handed pitchers.
The Mariners finished last season with Logan Morrison or Mark Trumbo as options at first base. They traded both of those players away and acquired Lind. Their free agent options consisted of a very expensive Chris Davis or options that are not likely to be any better than Lind. Rumors are that Davis is looking at a long-term contract worth $150 million. The Mariners didn’t want to spend that, so they made this trade for the Brewers. Lind won’t provide the production of Davis, but he’s a much better option when cost is considered.
All three of the pitchers traded away by the Mariners are very young prospects. Carlos Herrera was signed in July of 2014 as a 16-year-old right-handed pitcher out of the Dominican Republic. He pitched with the Mariners’ rookie league team last year and had 73 strikeouts and 13 walks in 80 innings. He’s a long ways off from making the Major Leagues and anything can happen with a prospect this young.
Freddy Peralta was also an international signing out of the Dominican Republic. He’s pitched for three seasons at the rookie league level for the Mariners organization, starting as a 17-year-old in 2013. Over those three years, Peralta has struck out 158 and walked 47 in 163 1/3 innings. He’s a small (5’11”) right-handed starter but can get his fastball near the mid-90s. Like Herrera, he’s more than few years away from big league action.
The third young pitcher, Daniel Missaki, will be 20 years old next season. He’s further along than the other two pitchers after having reached the A ball level last year. His season was cut short, though, and he had reconstructive elbow surgery in May. He’s expected to get back on the mound sometime this year. Like the other two, Missaki is a few years away from pitching in the Major Leagues.
In the short term, this is a good deal for the Mariners. They only have him for one year before he hits free agency, but the Mariners were not interested in a long-term rebuild. If one or more of the three pitchers traded away turns out to be a good Major League pitcher, the Mariners will have lost value in this trade. At the same time, all three pitching prospects could flame out and provide no value to the Brewers.