The Pirates made a trade the day before the deadline acquiring Travis Snider from the Blue Jays for Brad Lincoln. Now, I have been a big Brad Lincoln supporter, and I do think that he could still be a starter, but probably not more than a fifth starter. He will be a great bullpen guy with the possibility of being a closer because I think he throws hard enough. No matter where you put him in the pen, he will be good.
However, I like this trade. Snider has control until 2016 when the next wave of Pirates arrive. He is arbitration eligible in 2013, but probably will not command a ton of dollars. He is a lot like Lincoln in that he has good AAA numbers, but has not yet shown that ability at the major league level. He is only 24 making him three years younger than Lincoln. And if we are trying to win this year, then Snider is who we need. The bullpen can go with someone else from Triple A or a waiver claim, and the Pirates need a bat with some hits in it. Snider could be that guy. He is a lefty, so that could help too. They had to get a bat some how, and this is as good a way as any. The fact he has so much control, I think means this is a win for the Pirates.
What this means for the future then is even more interesting. Snider is a lefty bat making him a bit redundant with Alex Presley. Let's assume that long term Marte is the answer for one outfield slot. Right now, Marte may lose playing time to Snider, especially against righties if we want to load up left handers in the line up. In the future that is not going to be the case. So, this trade can be seen as admitting Presley is not the long term solution. Presley does not have that corner outfield power that is expected. Snider might.
But even more interesting is whether or not this is a shot at Tabata. They just signed a guy for Tabata's spot with control for years. Tabata is not doing well in AAA and Presley is playing decent ball in the pros. So perhaps we ought to be reading this as a sign that Tabata is going to have to earn his spot on the team next year.
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