With rumours swirling about potential trades, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Travis Snider was removed from tonight’s game against the Seattle Mariners. Before exiting the dugout for the clubhouse, he was seen shaking hands and hugging his now former teammates. Shortly after the emotional goodbyes, it was announced that Snider has been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for 27-year old right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln, the fourth overall pick in the 2006 draft.

Snider has played in parts of four seasons for the Blue Jays after being rushed to the big leagues as a 20-year old. Despite his meteoric rise through the Toronto system, he failed time and time again to make good on his visible potential at the higher level. Over these last four years, it could also be said that he was done few favours by the organization as it sent him back and forth between Triple A and the big league club.

The Pirates get a left handed outfield bat that they had been reportedly seeking. But while most suspected that bat would come in the form of a veteran cast off from a non-contending team, Snider is almost the exact opposite. Still only 24-years old, Snider has shown glimpses of opposite way power and should fit in right away in the middle of the Pittsburgh lineup. The corner outfielder is in his final automatic contract renewal year and will enter arbitration ahead of 2013, under team control through 2016.

Lincoln has been used in a variety of roles this season in Pittsburgh, starting five games, while also being used as a long man and late inning reliever. He has a low to mid-nineties fastball and a good curveball, as a well as a sinking fastball and change up that he doesn’t use as much as the other two pitches. This is most noticeable against right handed batters, to whom he throws the fastball and curve almost exclusively.¬†According to Blue Jays manager John Farrell, the team will use Lincoln as a reliever.

What’s most curious about this trade is that in the past, it would be the Toronto Blue Jays acquiring the out-of-favour former prospect that Snider certainly is for a player of limited value to his former club, or in this case, a reliever. Perhaps there’s something more to Lincoln than an initial evaluation. He was drafted ahead of Snider, and has until recently failed to settle into a Major League role. Or perhaps all the staggered starts to Snider’s career were more damaging to his value than was assumed, but it appears that the Pirates are acquiring a player that offers them both a higher upside and the meeting of a current need. Whereas the Blue Jays are merely acquiring a bullpen arm.

Perhaps Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington is the new ninja.

Comments (21)

  1. For Garza? I hope not

    • This comment, with the benefit of hindsight in knowing who the acquired asset turned out to be, is hilarious.

  2. Looks like #SniderFreed is about to become a reality.

  3. Im so sad. i had your old jays jersey snider!

  4. Brad lincoln? are you kidding me

  5. Garza is looking GOLDEN rightn ow, wow AA what were you thinking?

  6. Unless this is a piece for something bigger I can’t get too excited about this. He looks like a classic AA pick up. A lot of potential but has been messed around with. TJ surgery and has a controllable contract. That has AA written all over it imo. Maybe I’ll feel better in the morning.

  7. How ’bout a warm welcome folks?

  8. No more Thames. Thank you baseball gods.

  9. The Jays trading away Snider and Thames means these deals are probably just the start for a bigger trade forthcoming because that’d mean Yan Gomes is the 4th outfielder and that makes no sense.

    I’m guessing Lincoln and Delabar will go to Chicago with some prospects for Garza and someone like Alfonso Soriano to unload his contract. Now it’s wait and see time

  10. 5 young players traded, 5 relievers acquired.

    at best these moves are lateral

    at worst we traded perceived depth for the most overrated position in baseball.

  11. Insanity is not trading away Travis Snider. Insanity is caring that it happened.

    I’ve never seen so many people shit themselves over the trade of a Quad-A fringe prospect for a high upside reliever/spot starter.

    • I think more people view him as a passed top prospect that has had more of his fair share of troubles, but still has that high ceiling.

      When I think quad-A I think more of players like McCoy, David Cooper, the Houston Astros.

      • Haha Astros. Nice.

        I don’t know how high Snider’s ceiling is though. After 4+ years of PAs at the AAA and MLB level, he still can’t hit a damn breaking ball. I like Lincoln’s upside a lot more at this point.

  12. Maybe from all the relievers we got the last few weeks will combine in some sort of voltron super pitcher…

  13. I hate this trade.

    Glad they got something for Thames, but I’d have rather let Snider play out this year and see if he can hack it. I thought he looked good since his call up.

    Maybe I just expected more in return for Snider… but if this was his market value right now why not just hold?

  14. The annoying thing about this trade is, that it doesn’t give us a hint to whether or not management think we’re playoff contenders.

  15. I think the Jays are going to unveil a full-blown pitching by committee set up for next year. What, now that they have about five thousand relievers.

  16. I’ve cooled off significantly about this trade. AA has re built the bullpen with controllable arms without spending any real money. I know Jays fans are going to say that AA refuses to spend money when they are “contending” but all these moves frees up $$$ for free agents in the winter. The thing that bothers me will always be the odd treatment of Snider. It seems clear they were never going to give him a chance, so why wait so long to trade him? AA probably could have received a better package for Snider a year or two ago. Maybe not who knows, it’s all in the past now.

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