The Phillies acquired hard-throwing righty reliever Brad Lincoln from the Blue Jays for catcher Erik Kratz and 24-year-old lefthander Rob Rasmussen, who now has been traded four times since July 2012.
Philadelphia reportedly sought Lincoln from the Pirates when they shopped Shane Victorino at the 2012 trade deadline, but they wound up trading with the Dodgers for Ethan Martin and Josh Lindblom instead.
Brad Lincoln, rhp
Service time: 2.034. Options used: 3/3.
After a tremendous half-season with the Pirates in 2012 in which he averaged more than a strikeout per inning and had a WHIP below 1.00, Lincoln was traded to the Blue Jays for Travis Snider as the Bucs tried to bulk up their offense for what turned out to be a failed postseason run. Lincoln regressed to pre-2012 numbers with Toronto and in 2013 walked more than six batters per nine innings. More promisingly, however, his velocity remained strong at 93.3 mph, according to Pitch f/x data at FanGraphs.com. The fourth overall pick in the 2006 draft, he’s out of options and could work crucial innings for the bullpen-starved Phillies.
|Blue Jays Acquire|
Rob Rasmussen, lhp
Career Transactions: Selected by Marlins in the second round (73rd overall) of the 2010 draft. Signed July 7, 2010. … Traded by Marlins with 3B Matt Dominguez to Astros for 1B Carlos Lee and cash, July 5, 2012 … Traded by Astros to Dodgers for RHP John Ely, Dec. 19, 2012 … Traded by Dodgers to Phillies for 3B Michael Young, Aug. 31, 2013.
The smallish lefty (5-foot-9, 160 pounds) has been traded four times now since being drafted by the Marlins. He pitched to a 4.11 ERA at Double and Triple-A for the Dodgers in 2013. When he was drafted, he was projected as a back-of-the-rotation starter or situational lefthander, where his breaking balls would be deadly. His fastball sits as 91-93 mph, but he has had command issues that can be traced to his mechanics.
Erik Kratz, c
Age: 33. Bats: R.
Service time: 1.158. Options used: 2/3.
Kratz has flashed some power the past two seasons, slugging a cumulative .436, but his true value is tied to his defensive work, which is above-average. He will compete for the Blue Jays’ backup catcher job with Josh Thole behind recently-signed Dioner Navarro. Both Kratz and Thole have options remaining, so it will be a fair fight.