On Monday, Kyle opened up the off-season with a discussion of the Brewers who will be arbitration eligible in 2015. Today we're moving on to discuss Adam Lind, who is the Brewers' only player with a 2016 option on his contract.
Lind is at the end of the contract he signed as a 27-year-old in 2010, when he agreed to a 4 year, $18 million deal after a breakout year in 2009 when he hit .309 with 35 home runs. That contract included club options with buyouts for each of 2014, 2015 and 2016. For 2016, Lind is set to make $8 million, unless the Brewers pay the $500,000 buyout. According to Adam McCalvy, the Brewers deadline to make that decision is coming quickly:
Adam Lind said #Brewers have until three days after the WS (so Wednesday) to exercise $8M option for '16. Buyout would be $500,000.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) November 2, 2015
(EDIT: McCalvy now says that according to the team, they actually have 10 days to make this decision.)
(EDIT #2: The Brewers exercised Lind's option this afternoon.)
There's virtually no chance that Lind's option won't be picked up by Milwaukee, and any delay before Wednesday's deadline should not be cause for alarm. Depending on who you ask, the going rate for a win above replacement is between $6 and $8 million per year. Lind, a 2.2 fWAR player in 2015, is a major bargain at that price.
Here at Brew Crew Ball, the general consensus is that Lind would command something in the vicinity of 3 years/$35 million on the open market -- and perhaps more than that -- which makes the the Brewers' option to keep Lind at $8 million for a year a very easy decision. The 2016 free agent class is weak at first base after Orioles slugger Chris Davis -- decidedly the second best baseball player whose name sounds like that -- further increasing the value of Lind on the open market.
While the Brewers exercising Lind's option is a foregone conclusion, it is far from a certainly that Lind will spend all of 2016 with the Brewers, or that he'll even be on the Opening Day roster come April. Lind will turn 33 in July, and while his cheap one year option has value for the rebuilding Brewers, that value will be manifested most strongly in the trade value the veteran can attract. Coming off his best season since his breakout year in 2009, and having proven that he can A) stay healthy and B) play first base at a defensively-adequate level, Lind is an extremely valuable asset. Whether he's dealt this winter or Milwaukee waits until the deadline, the only real shocker in play regarding Lind in 2016 would be if he ended the season as a Brewer.