Sometimes it amazes us how much a team over values a perceived good bullpen arm. The King of ‘Let’s Make a Deal at the Major League Trade Deadline’ has done it once again, flipping a reliever for an outfielder with team control for years to come.
Naysayers of the deal will point to the fact that the Pirates actually lose two years of player control, because Lincoln was locked down for two years longer than Snider. We can’t argue with facts, but take a close look at Snider. You want to talk about a player that Clint Hurdle and the boys can go to work on? …it’s Snider.
Travis Snider was never given an opportunity to make regular starts while with the Toronto Blue Jays. He definitely will in Pittsburgh. Snider is 24, but has played parts of five seasons in MLB. In 813 career at bats, the big left-handed hitter has hit .247 with 31 home runs, 112 RBIs and a .734 OPS.
He was selected with the 14th pick in the 2006 draft. Yeah, that’s the same draft in which the Pirates picked Brad Lincoln with their fourth selection.
Snider was called back up on July 20 and is hitting .250 with three bombs and an .856 OPS. In Las Vegas he had hit .335 with 13 homers, and a 1.021 OPS in 56 games.
The Blue Jays called him up in 2008, when he was just 20 and he hit .301/.338/.466 in 24 games. Unfortunately, it looks like Cito Gaston didn’t think Snider was the best performer, and Snider was back-and-forth a lot over several seasons.
Snider strikes out a ton, but he has the power potential that allows for some forgiveness. Some call his outfield defense average, with several highlight reel plays since his call up. He actually has played center field for the Jays.
We think this is a solid deal, mainly because we didn’t see a lot of Brad Lincoln’s value down the road. It should be good for both the Blue Jays and the Bucs if Snider is given an opportunity to start and can start hitting same side breaking pitches with regularity.
Here is that catch: