Within an hour of news breaking that the Phillies signed catcher Wil Nieves, the Phillies have deal Erik Kratz to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Phillies announce they have acquired reliever Brad Lincoln from Toronto for Erik Kratz and Rob Rasmussen.
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) December 4, 2013
Like I wrote earlier, Nieves is a clear upgrade over Kratz. Kratz will bring some power to the Blue Jays, but struggles to hit any pitches besides a fastball, and isn’t a very good defensive catcher.
The Blue Jays needed a backup catcher after non-tendering J.P. Arencibia last night , so despite some of Kratz’s flaws, this trade makes sense on their end.
The Phillies also gave up 24 year-old minor-league catcher Rob Rasmussen, who never played a game in the Phillies organization, after being acquired in an August waiver trade that sent Michael Young to the Dodgers.
As for the Phillies return, Brad Lincoln is a 28 year-old right handed arm, who has spent the last season and a half with the Blue Jays, after spending the first two and a half years with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He posted a 3.98 ERA in 22 games last year, after an abysmal half season with the Jays in 2012, that saw him post a 5.65 ERA. He showed potential prior to the trade while playing with Pittsburgh, going 4-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 59 innings. Still, the first half of 2012 is the only time in his four years in the big leagues that Lincoln has shown signs of being anything more than a below average reliever at the big-league level.