Blue Jays: Why the Travis Snider for Brad Lincoln Was a Good Deal
Travis Snider is a guy that Blue Jays fans once heralded as the team's next superstar, then watched struggle to gain traction at the big league level for nearly half a decade.
Even so, Snider remained something of a fan favorite in Toronto up until the day he was traded, with no small measure of support, and a surprisingly large contingent of people still willing to believe in his potential.
In 2012 Snider looked to have hit his stride a bit, with a .250 batting average, three home runs and some stellar defense in left field. Though he had been delivering what was asked of him in 10 games this year, Snider's line provides a minute sample size not worth reading much in to.
In return for shipping Snider off to the Pittsburgh Pirates the Blue Jays received Brad Lincoln, a 27-year-old pitcher who has found his niche working in the Pirates' bullpen of late.
On the year, Lincoln has put up a 4-2 record, with a 2.73 ERA and 60 strikeouts over 59.1 innings of work.
What makes Lincoln a solid acquisition for Toronto is that beyond giving the team a potential lift out of the pen, he has the ability to start. And that ability no doubt looks pretty intriguing to Alex Anthopoulos, who has seen his team's rotation decimated by injuries in 2012.
Though Lincoln has not found the same type of success starting as he has relieving, he could become a short-term member of Toronto's rotation before becoming a valuable long-term member of the team's bullpen.
That's one reason this was a good, and necessary deal for the Jays. Lincoln fills two needs—starter and reliever—and should ultimately become valuable as the latter.
Snider proved an asset to club this year, but anyone who had visions of him living up to the 35 home runs per year, .280 AVG hype is deluding themselves. Chances are he will stick around in the bigs, but don't expect to see his face at an All-Star game any time soon.
Besides, Snider wasn't what the team needed right now, and chances are that they will have better options for left field in the next couple of years, with Anthony Gose, Jake Marisnick and a few other potential internal candidates climbing the organizational ladder.
Ultimately, it comes down to Lincoln providing the team with something it lacks while having to give up something it doesn't. And in spite of the claims to Snider's potential, Lincoln has the better major league track record of the two players, so the value comparison favors the Jays as well.
No doubt there will be scores of fans sad to see Snider go, but from a baseball perspective this trade was great in terms of both need and value.
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