The Pittsburgh Pirates made a swap of 2006 first round picks, acquiring outfielder Travis Snider from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for RHP Brad Lincoln.
The 24-year-old Snider was Toronto’s first round selection in the 2006 First Year Player Draft and made his Major League debut with the Blue Jays in 2008.
The left-handed hitter is hitting a.250 average, three homers and eight RBI in ten games with Toronto.
In 61 games with Triple-A Las Vegas, Snider hit .335 with 17 doubles, 13 home runs and 57 RBI. Snider is player the Pirates have liked for a while and GM Neal Huntington when reached for comment, praised Snider’s ability to work the count, regarding him as a complete hitter. The Pirates will use Snider in RF.
Lincoln, 27, is 4-2 this season with one save and a 2.73 ERA in 28 games with five starts for the PiErates. The right hander has allowed 51 hits in 59.1 innings with 14 walks and 60 strikeouts. Lincoln found his mark with the Pirates in the bullpen, making him a trade asset as the Pirates make a potential high upside move in adding the 24 year old Snider giving the Pirates a young core in the outfield with Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and possibly now Snider who has the upside and ability to be an impact player down the road, but for this season it remains to be seen how much of an impact Snider actually makes as he hasn’t figured out Major League pitching to the point Toronto had hoped Snider would have after making his debut in 2008.
Snider hit .225 with 3 home runs and 30 RBIs last season in 49 games, and in 2010, hit .255 with 14 home runs – 32 RBIs in 82 games. He’s regressed since his 14 homer season in 2010. Snider is a career .247 hitter with 31 home runs and 112 RBIs.
The loss of Lincoln hurts and gives the Pirates an immediate hole in the bullpen and the team is currently looking to add a reliever. Going into today, they had their sights set on adding a lefty reliever. GM Neal Huntington has been looking for moves that could impact the team now and in 2013 or beyond, and it’s not a surprise to see him trade Lincoln for a non-rental player as Huntington often regards the bullpen as the easiest position to replace. Huntington though, had balked at moving Lincoln for a two month rental, most notably Shane Victorino
In evaluating this trade for this season, Lincoln is the better Major League player while the upside is higher with Snider and the Pirates obviously see it that way and feel he can put it together with a change of scenery. The Pirates brass also see Snider as an upgrade over what the Pirates have at the corners now and Snider having an higher upside long-term than Lincoln at a need position. For now though, Snider might just be Jose Tabata at the Major League Level with more power.