Blue Jays deal Snider, Thames for bullpen help
Former Pirates, Mariners relief pitchers Brad Lincoln, Steve Delabar heading to Toronto
The Toronto Blue Jays made a pair of trades for right-handed relievers Monday night, getting Brad Lincoln from Pittsburgh and Steve Delabar from Seattle.
The Blue Jays, at 51-51 and contending for the American League wild-card spot, pulled outfielder Travis Snider in the sixth inning of a 4-1 loss at Seattle.
Soon thereafter, Toronto announced he was going to the contending Pirates.
"Definitely a shock," Snider said. "With the trade deadline coming up, you never know if it's going to be you."
The Blue Jays acquired Delabar for outfielder Eric Thames.
Teams have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET to make deals without waivers.
Snider went 1-for 2-with a walk in his final game for Toronto. The 24-year-old began the day batting .235 with three home runs and eight RBIs in nine games for the Blue Jays.
He hit .335 with 13 homers and 57 RBIs at AAA this year.
The right-handed Lincoln is 4-2 with one save and a 2.73 ERA in 28 games for Pittsburgh.
In a recent blog, CBCSports.ca baseball contributor Kevin Glew suggested the Blue Jays acquire Lincoln, who "is finally harnessing the potential that made him a first-round pick in 2006."
"We're parting ways with a young, talented outfielder in Travis, who has still been trying to get established on an everyday basis in the big leagues," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "We felt like we gave up a quality player to get a guy that has starting to come into his own in Lincoln."
Lincoln has been a starter and reliever during his career.
"We envision him in the bullpen. That's where he's flourished. That's where he seemed to come into his own at the big-league level," Farrell said.
Chosen one slot ahead of Blue Jays starting pitcher Brandon Morrow, the six-foot, 200-pound Lincoln — like Morrow early in his career in Seattle — has been shuttled between the rotation and the bullpen.
Not eligible for salary arbitration until 2015 or for free agency until 2018, Lincoln is the type of high-ceiling sleeper that Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos often covets.
Pittsburgh is in playoff contention for the National League Central title and the wild-card spot. Toronto is close in the AL wild-card chase.
The 29-year-old Delabar is 2-1 with a 4.17 ERA in 34 games for Seattle. In parts of two seasons with the Mariners, he is 3-2 with a 3.92 ERA in 40 games.
The 25-year-old Thames hit .243 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 46 games for Toronto.
With files from CBCSports.ca