Blue Jays Send Brad Lincoln to the Phillies
The Blue Jays have traded Brad Lincoln to the Phillies for catcher Erik Kratz and left-hander Rob Rasmussen. Kratz, a 29th-round pick of the Blue Jays in 2002, has been effective as a backup in Philadelphia over the last two years, compiling 2.0 fWAR in 118 games. Matt Carruth has him as as an above-average framer, albeit in a small sample of innings.
Rasmussen, part of the September 1st Michael Young trade involving the Dodgers and Phillies, stands at a diminutive 5’10”. The 24-year old will be joining his fourth organization, and has enjoyed moderate success in the minors, though he hit the wall in his first taste of AAA this year, sporting a 6.46 ERA and 6.16 FIP after earning a promotion to AAA Albuquerque.
Lincoln, acquired from Pittsburgh by Toronto in exchange for Travis Snider in 2012, was taken with the 4th overall pick of the 2006 draft. Things haven’t quite worked out for him, however, and he’s struggled to solidify himself as a major-leaguer, sporting a 4.66 ERA over 220 major-league innings. Entering his age-29 season, he seems like a long shot to ever contribute significantly at the major-league level.
This move adds depth to a weak catching position for Toronto, with Kratz appearing capable of challenging Josh Thole and possibly even Dioner Navarro for playing time, though he’s not yet out of options and can be sent to AAA if the team decides to run with Thole as the backup. Given that Lincoln was out of options and the team is flush with talented relief pitching, it makes a lot of sense to move him now for pieces that provide more flexibility and depth at positions of need.