Lind joins Jayson Werth, Howie Kendrick, Brandon Kintzler, Jose Lobaton and Stephen Drew as key bench pieces who now have the chance to sign elsewhere. Relievers Matt Albers, Joe Blanton and Oliver Perez are also free agents, along with Ryan Raburn and Alejandro De Aza.
The 34-year-old Lind constitutes a substantial loss for the Nationals, who need a reliable backup first base option because of Ryan Zimmerman’s health history and benefited from his left-handed power off the bench. Kendrick, too, provided everyday capabilities at key positions, and with Daniel Murphy’s status for Opening Day uncertain after knee surgery, could provide an appealing insurance policy at second base in the interim. But both players, who bounced back in 2017, will get their shot at the open market.
If Lind signs elsewhere, his one-year Nationals legacy will include a remarkable Opening Day homer and a key hit in the stunning eighth-inning rally of Game 2 of the National League Division Series. To keep him, the Nationals would have had to commit near everyday money ($5 million), and declined to do so.