The Yankees signed first baseman Adam Lind to a minor league deal and invited him to major league spring training, the team announced Friday.
Lind, 34, recorded a .303/.362/.513 batting line with 14 home runs and 59 RBIs in 116 games with the Washington Nationals last season, his fourth team in as many years.
"The way this winter worked out, I'm just happy to have a job," Lind said, according to Newsday's David Lennon.
A 12-year veteran, Lind has a lifetime .272 batting average with 200 career home runs and 723 RBIs with the Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners and Nationals since debuting in 2006.
Lind has played 582 career games at first base and 249 career games in left field.
Lind might not seem like the perfect fit for the Yankees considering starting first baseman Greg Bird is also a left-handed hitter. However, the Yankees were looking for depth at first base, most likely because they are not convinced that 26-year-old Tyler Austin is ever going to mature into a productive major leaguer and Billy McKinney simply lacks experience at the position.
I don't see this move as one which necessitates Bird going down with an injury for Lind to make the roster at the end of spring. Lind is certainly a platoon-type player at this stage in his career, but when he does come to the plate against a right-hander, he tends to deliver.
The Yankees may simply be more concerned with having a bona fide first baseman on the bench to spell Bird on occasion or for a lengthy disabled list stint that has plagued the starter. Further, Lind is an experienced and very successful hitter off the bench. He hit .356 with four homers in 48 pinch-hitting plate appearances last season, and owns a career .959 triple slash line with nine homers in 156 career PA coming as a pinch-hitter.
At worst, Lind walks aways at the end of spring training and costs nothing. At best, he provides the Yankees a fallback option at first base that has legit hitting skills against righties and off the bench.