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Ferguson: It's 'make-good' time for recently recalled Lind

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Scott Ferguson
6/25/2012 11:56:21 AM
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It's 'make-good' time for Adam Lind. Or should we say showcase time, with the Blue Jays recalling the veteran first baseman from Las Vegas on Sunday.

Lind, who turns 29 on July 14, certainly deserves another look after 31 games at Las Vegas. He hit .395 with eight home runs for the 51's in what, admittedly, is a hitters league. Lind is expected to play 1B against right handers and occasionally DH against lefties.

Lind is at a crossroads in his career. If he doesn't start to contribute more at the plate, the Jays will undoubtedly try to move him as they did with Vernon Wells and Aaron Hill. His contract is by no means onerous; he gets what remains of $5 million this year plus another $5 million next year. Then there are three club option years worth a total of $22.5 million if are all picked up. And if not, Lind can be bought out for $2 million after next season.

Two things complicate Lind's situation. The first, Edwin Encarnacion, who's having an All-Star type season, is a free agent after this campaign. Encarnacion has worked himself into being a fairly decent first baseman and his greatest value to the Jays as a free agent is to play 1B the bulk of the time. The Jays, in my mind, aren't going to give out the kind of contract that Encarnacion is earning to a guy that would basically just be playing DH.

The second factor is the Jays' need for starting pitching, if they still consider themselves in the running for a post-season berth. At the moment, they are only three games back of Tampa Bay for the second Wild Card slot. And there are still 90 games to play, including 10 against the Rays who are having injury problems of their own (Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Joyce).

Trading Encarncion would certainly bring more in return, but it would also rip the guts out of the line-up and damage what the top four hitters - Lawrie, Rasmus, Bautista and Encarnacion - have done since June 3.

If Lind, who's also developed into a pretty decent first baseman, gets hot, he could become instant trade bait.

Kelly Johnson and Rajai Davis could also become free agents at the end of this season, but the Jays do hold a $3 million option on Davis for next year.

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As mentioned earlier, the Jays have 90 games left, 47 of which are within their own division. Right now they are 11-14 against the AL East. If they keep up that pace, John Farrell and company will likely finish last in the East.

This is another incredibly important week for the Jays. They open a three game set at Fenway Park against the Red Sox Monday before returning home to kick off a four-game series with the Angels on Thursday.

The Jays are ninth-overall in the American League, one game back of Boston and three behind the Angels. Farrell and company need series wins against both of these clubs.
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It was too bad it had to end this way for Kevin Youkilis in Boston. However, the Red Sox had to deliver a message that rookie Will Middlebrooks is their third baseman now and for the future. Though Youkilis has struggled with injuries and at the plate this season, it was a good gamble for the White Sox to pick him up for former Blue Jays pitching prospect Zach Stewart and infielder Brent Lillibridge.

David Ortiz is now the only player left from the 2004 Championship club that broke Boston's 86 year-World Series drought.

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It looks as though the incredible career of lefty Jamie Moyer may finally be over after he was released from his minor league deal with Baltimore over the weekend. At 49, he will go down as the oldest pitcher ever to win a ballgame in the Majors and the oldest to get a hit. With his love of the game, Moyer will probably surface as some team's pitching coach some day or maybe even a manager.

Adam Lind (Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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