Pirates acquire Travis Snider from Toronto for Brad Lincoln

The @pirates have acquired OF Travis Snider from the @bluejays in exchange for RHP Brad Lincoln.

— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) July 31, 2012

 

The Pirates have made their big trade of the trade season by dealing reliever Brad Lincoln for OF Travis Snider.

Snider has played the majority of his career in left field, but also has played quite a bit of right field as well. He was widely regarded as one of the top hitting prospects in all of baseball while he was making his way through the Blue Jays organization and was ranked as high as 6th by Baseball America in 2009. He made his debut in 2008 at the age of 20 and had an inconsistent start to his career. He is under team control until through 2016, also.

Scouts believe that Snider, now 24, has turned the corner, as he demolished Triple-A pitching this season in 56 games hitting .335/.423/.598 with 13 home runs. In ten games with the Blue Jays, he was hitting .250/.300/.556 with three homers in 40 plate appearances.

Lincoln leaves the Pirates after emerging as one of the more dominating relief pitchers in baseball. He certainly has the stuff and the makeup to become a closer down the road and could possibly still blossom into a starting pitcher if he can ever harness his changeup. Lincoln has a 2.73 ERA this year in 59 1/3 innings with a 60:14 K:BB ratio. His ERA out of the bullpen was 0.50.

Overall, I like the deal. Snider is controlled for multiple years and could very well be on the verge of breaking into a productive Major League bat. He’s got the pedigree and the power will undoubtedly be there. At best, he becomes a fixture in the Pirates outfield for the next four years. At worst, he’s a productive power bat off the bench. I really liked Brad Lincoln as a reliever. But that’s what he is, a reliever. Without the development of a quality third pitch, he wasn’t going to be more than that. I’ll take a Major League hitter for a reliever any day.