Phillies Acquire RHP Brad Lincoln

Posted: December 4, 2013 in Uncategorized





Lost in an otherwise mediocre offseason so far for Ruben Amaro Jr. was Tuesday night’s acquisition of RHP Brad Lincoln from the Toronto Blue Jays. After multiple signings of 35+ year old talents like Marlon Byrd and Carlos Ruiz, the Phillies were still left with a gaping hole in their bullpen heading into 2014.

In order to at least partially fill that chasm, Amaro has orchestrated one of his better trades in recent memory. Philadelphia landed RHP Brad Lincoln from Toronto in exchange for 33-year old backup C Erik Kratz and 24-year old LHP Rob Rasmussen.

On the surface, this deal looks like a win for both sides. The Phillies land a talented right handed reliever without having to salvage any of their valuable prospects. Meanwhile, Toronto gets a backup catcher in Kratz and a young, well travelled arm in Rasmussen.

Lincoln, 28, was once the 4th overall pick in the 2006 draft by Pittsburgh. The Pirates tried him at starter, with Lincoln appearing in Pittsburgh’s rotation as recently as 2012. During that 2012 season, the right-hander broke out. He posted career highs in wins (5), strikeouts (88 in 88 IP), and WHIP (1.182). He was also the centerpiece of a trade deadline deal to Toronto that brought another once promising prospect, Travis Snider, to Pittsburgh.

The right-hander is valuable to the Phillies for multiple reasons. First, he’s a right hander who can eat innings out of the bullpen. His mediocre 2013 aside (1-2, 3.98, 25:22 K:BB ratio), Lincoln has been a long reliever and a talented one at that over the course of his first five years in the league. Over the past few years, Philadelphia has relied on the likes of Chad Durbin, David Herndon, and BJ Rosenberg to fill that role. Lincoln is more established and brings a better bet than any of those former options.

Another positive for the Phillies is Lincoln’s youth (29 in May) and affordability. The veteran reliever will be under team control for the next four seasons, meaning that the Phillies will have the option of bringing him back until he hits free agency following the 2017 season.

As for Kratz, it will be sad to see such a valuable clubhouse presence leave the organization. A career minor leaguer when he was first promoted from Lehigh Valley in 2012, Kratz had many memorable moments in red-pinstripes. However, with the resigning of Ruiz, the acquisition of veteran Wil Nieves, and the presence of young Cameron Rupp; the opportunities for Kratz to see playing time were few-and-far-between. With Toronto, a team looking to unload incumbent catcher J.P. Arencibia, E.K. may have a better chance at making the big league roster.

The 24-year old Rasmussen may never get over the jet lag of his young career. A 2nd round pick in the 2010 draft by Miami/Florida, the Pasadena native has already been dealt four times. First, he was shipped to Houston as part of the 2012 Carlos Lee deal. Then, he departed Texas for Los Angeles in exchange for John Ely following that year. In August, the Phillies landed the lefty from the Dodgers for Michael Young. Rasmussen never suited up for a Phillies minor league club. He’ll now take his much traveled talents to one of Toronto’s minor league organizations.

The Phillies may not have landed the big fish this offseason. But, the move to land Lincoln puts the team on the right path towards a return to contention in 2014.


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