The Pirates have traded Brad Lincoln to the Blue Jays for outfielder Travis Snider.
Snider was once a top prospect, but he's had trouble breaking through in the majors. He put up a .335/.423/.598 line this year in Las Vegas, which is good even for Las Vegas (and he also hit well on the road), and he's only 24. He's also left-handed.
The Pirates will control Snider for, it appears, four more years beyond this one. David and I talked on the podcast today about how we wouldn't trade Lincoln for Shane Victorino, but I like the idea of trading him for a potentially strong bat -- which Snider still is at this point -- who's under team control for awhile.
In the short term, this only looks like a good move if Snider can produce right away, but his numbers this year suggest that he can, and the Pirates certainly needed another outfielder. I like the way that Neal Huntington has acquired players who can help this season (in Snider and Wandy Rodriguez) and who will also be around next year. He's addressing the Pirates' short-term needs while also potentially helping the team in the long term.
The loss of Lincoln weakens this year's bullpen considerably, so I'm less concerned about the chance that Lincoln becomes a shutdown reliever in the future, although that's certainly a possibility, and more concerned about this year's bullpen as we head down the stretch. Losing Lincoln for the future does hurt, but Neal Huntington has the resources to get relievers in the offseason. He doesn't necessarily have the resources to just go get middle-of-the-order bats.
My guess is that the Pirates will be in the market for relievers as we head toward the trade deadline tomorrow. I wouldn't be surprised to see them ship out a fringe prospect or two or a reliever, particularly if it's a lefty.
In the meantime, I like this move. More tomorrow.
Oh, and the Pirates lost really badly to the Cubs in a game that made me hate life.