CHICAGO -- The Pirates got into the non-waiver Trade Deadline eve action late Monday night, acquiring outfielder Travis Snider from the Blue Jays in exchange for versatile right-hander Brad Lincoln.Snider is a former (2006) No. 1 Draft choice who, at 24, has considerable Major League experience. Although the left-handed hitter has spent most of this season at Triple-A, batting .335 with 13 homers and 56 RBIs in 56 games at Las Vegas, he has appeared in 241 games with the Blue Jays since 2008. To get Snider, the Pirates had to give up the Major Leagues' top relief pitcher, at least according to ERA. Around five spot starts, Lincoln, himself a No. 1 choice in the same 2006 First-Year Player Draft as Snider, has compiled an 0.50 ERA in 23 relief appearances. Since being recalled by Toronto on July 20, Snider has gone 9-for-36 (.250), with a pair of doubles, three home runs and eight RBIs in 10 games. "Experiencing what I have, I've definitely learned a lot from that, and moving forward, the mindset has to stay the same -- same as when I got called up this last time," Snider said. "What I've worked hard to develop is to take things one day at a time and controlling what I can control. I'm going to work hard for the Pittsburgh Pirates and go out there and play hard every day."
Snider has played left field primarily with the Blue Jays, while most of his Minor League experience has been in right. He thus fits the profile of the type of player Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington has been seeking all along."I'm excited to be a part of a contending organization," Snider said. "The opportunity to play in October is what we all dream about. It's tough to say goodbye, but at the same time, I'm excited for the new opportunity."
Plans are for Snider to move into right field as soon as he reports, while Starling Marte will continue his tenure in left field, with All-Star Andrew McCutchen in the middle."We think he will fit in well with us in right," said Huntington, who has had his eyes for a long while on someone he considers "a hard-nosed player with power who likes to use the whole field and can make pitchers pay for their mistakes." Huntington's high valuation of Snider is evident in the price he conceded to pay for him. Lincoln's name has come up frequently in trade talks, but the Pirates were willing to move him only in the right circumstances. "I know we're giving up a quality pitcher who will have an outstanding career," Huntington said. "But to get value you have to give up value. We weren't willing to pay a premium price for a rental, but Travis is someone we know will be with us for a while." For the time being, Snider assumes Lincoln's spot on the roster, creating an imbalance Huntington said "we will address in the next 24-48 hours." That will involve the players directly affected by the arrival of Snider. Garrett Jones, the primary right fielder since Jose Tabata was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis, figures to see more action at first base, cutting into Casey McGehee's playing time. Alex Presley, who has started at two positions (left and right) that now belong to others, could be viewed in the short term as an ideal fourth outfielder.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.