Lind not concerned about possible new role

First baseman/outfielder likely to be used as pinch-hitter

Lind not concerned about possible new role

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Adam Lind feels a bit unfortunate that he fit free agency this past offseason, when a number of power hitters had trouble finding a home.

Chris Carter tied for the National League lead in home runs last season, but he didn't sign a one-year deal with the Yankees until Thursday. The market for sluggers Jose Bautista and Mark Trumbo never fully developed, so both players ended up re-signing with their respective teams in Toronto and Baltimore.

Lind is coming off consecutive 20-homer seasons and has gone deep at least 20 times in three of the past four years, but he lingered in free agency longer than he would have hoped. So when the Nats came calling, he had no hesitations to drop everything and report to West Palm Beach.

"It's a J-O-B," Lind said. "I mean, really. Didn't have too much to choose from. ... To sign this late with this quality of a team, you couldn't ask for anything else."

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The Nationals get a relative bargain out of the deal, a one-year contract that is reportedly worth $1.5 million, with the rarely exercised mutual option for 2018. Lind should provide a nice upgrade to their bench, which was already a strength, as a backup first baseman and corner outfielder -- although he has not appeared in a Major League game in the outfield since '10.

The 33-year-old has primarily been a platoon player the last few years, however Nationals manager Dusty Baker quickly dismissed the idea on Friday that Lind could serve as a left-handed platoon option to complement Ryan Zimmerman at first base or Jayson Werth in left field.

"Right now, Werth and Zimmerman are my left fielder and first baseman," Baker said.

Lind's grand slam

Baker also suggested that the Nats were trying to determine whether Lind and Clint Robinson could both have a place on the bench, which seems unlikely considering they have the same attributes: power-hitting left-handers who play first base and corner outfield.

Lind has never been a full-time pinch-hitter and has only 120 career at-bats in the role, but he believes his experience as a platoon player could help him adjust to it.

"I don't think it will be too challenging at the beginning," Lind said. "The last few years, I've been platooned, so I know what it's like to have days off and come off the bench. But if I only have like two or three starts somewhere at the end of June, then … I might have to figure something out. But I don't think it'll be too big a problem at the beginning."

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.