Toronto Blue Jays' Demotion Of Brad Lincoln A Sad Footnote To Ill-Fated Travis Snider Trade

By Thom Tsang
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Remember the trade between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Pittsburgh Pirates that involved Brad Lincoln and Travis Snider?

As it turned out, after all of the hoopla and temporary outrage on both sides — the Bucs thought they were giving away a top reliever and potential future closer, while the bluebirds thought Snider was one full season away from breaking as a top middle-of-the-order bat — the trade was in fact a not a particularly good one for … either party.

Good thing that strong feelings on these things are generally fleeting, eh?

Though it was almost certainly the case that the fan base had taken sides on the Snider departure, it’s fair to say that Blue Jays Nation can all be one big happy family again (at least on this issue) as it’s clear that the team has managed to pull off a rare lose-lose trade — you know, the one you could conceivably feel bad about, but it’s not as though the team not making the trade would have resulted in anything better.

Snider had been a -0.6 fWAR player with a .219/287/.322 line over 265 PA before he hurt his toe, and is now in the minors rehabbing. Not to be outdone by his trade counterpart, Mr. -0.3 fWAR Lincoln is set for the same fate:

As succinct as you can get, but yet so telling, no? In case you really wanted to know, Lincoln’s body of work this season has been … well, you know. Though he’s no longer the 1.88 HR/9 long ball machine he was last season that led to a 5.65/1.36 ERA/WHIP over 28.2 innings, he’s found another way to beat himself this season via a 6.25 BB/9.

No, that’s not a typo. That is in fact 22 walks in 31.2 innings, which is to say that he practically makes Kyle Drabek circa 2012 look a whole lot like Cliff Lee.

The final straw came after his latest outing on Friday, a 1.1-IP, two-run disaster that included four hits and a pair of walks; it was his third straight relief appearance with at least an earned run to his name, though considering that he’s allowed nine walks to six strikeouts (winner: sub-1.00 K/BB award!) in 10 innings since being called up from Buffalo on August 3, it’s really no wonder why he’s been sent back to triple-A.

… where the righty has been a totally different pitcher, having put up a sterling 2.28/1.18 ERA/WHIP over 23.2 IP, with a whopping 10.6 K/9 and a 2.7 BB/9.

Of course. Considering how his counterpart also happens to smash the minors … you know, maybe the Snider-Lincoln trade was just perfect, after all.

Thom is an MLB writer for Follow him on Twitter @BlueJaysRant, or add him to your network on Google

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