Well, the first big move for the new regime in Toronto could hardly be better:
- The Toronto Blue Jays signed outfielder Adam Lind to a four-year, $18 million contract on Saturday.
The deal runs through 2013 and includes club options through the 2016 season.
The 26-year-old Lind, who hit .305 last year with 35 home runs and 114 RBIs, was happy to know he'd be with the team long term and could make Toronto his second home.
"We've got a good solid core and a bunch of draft picks coming in the system now this year and for years to come," said Lind, a .287 hitter who has spent his career in the Toronto organization.
Anthopoulos and Lind said this contract shows that team owner Rogers Communications Inc., is willing to spend to make the franchise successful again.
"It just means that we're going to try and win," Lind said. "Those guys are pretty savvy business people and they know what it takes to win in the Canadian market. I don't think they do this for any other reason than to put a champion out on the field because that's what Rogers people are used to."
The contract includes a $600,000 signing bonus and a $400,000 base salary for this season followed by $5 million in each of the next three years.
Actually, what this contract shows is that Lind really likes Toronto and that there are some smooth operators in the Blue Jays' front office. Because Lind's contract is a HUGE bargain for the club. Those "club options through the 2016 season"? They're worth $22.5 million.
So if the Blue Jays exercise all their options, Lind will earn $38.5 million over seven years. As MLB Trade Rumors points out, "Even though he's mostly a leftfielder and designated hitter, Toronto appears to get a tremendous bargain here. For comparison's sake, Nick Markakis will earn $62.455MM for the same seven year chunk of his career."
I'm already imagining the suggestions that Lind should have gotten more money; that he was foolish to have agreed to such a low-ball offer.
Friends, $38.5 million is a lot of money. I've been to Canada. I wouldn't mind spending the next seven years there, particularly if I liked my teammates and knew I wouldn't have to worry about paying rent or buying food for the rest of my life.