The Toronto Blue Jays have traded RHP Brad Lincoln to the Philadelphia Phillies for C Erik Kratz and LHP Rob Rasmussen. Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays trade Lincoln to Phillies for Kratz, Rasmussen

The Toronto Blue Jays have traded RHP Brad Lincoln to the Philadelphia Phillies for catcher Erik Kratz and Rob Rasmussen. The official Twitter accounts for both teams have confirmed the transaction.

Lincoln, 28, was traded to the Blue Jays from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for former first overall pick Travis Snider at the 2012 non-waiver trade deadline. He appeared in 46 games over two seasons for the Jays and in 60.1 innings struck out 53 batters, put up a 4.77 ERA and had a 1.475 WHIP. He split time between MLB and Triple-A during 2013 and has used all of his minor league options.

The Blue Jays overcrowded bullpen (and lack of options) made Lincoln expendable. In return the Jays will receive the 33-year-old Kratz, who was a 29th round draft pick of the Blue Jays in 2002, and Rasmussen, 24.

Rasmussen was drafted in the 2nd round out of UCLA in 2010 and received his first taste of Triple-A this season. However he struggled with a 1.767 WHIP and 1.16 SO/BB ratio and was moved back down to Double-A to finish the year. He throws a fastball, curve and change but his slider is known as his most lethal pitch and has plenty of tilt. He stands only 5’9 with a slender frame so most scouts see him as a potential reliever if he does make it to the MLB level.

Kratz never broke through with the Blue Jays and was granted free agency in 2008. He floated around for a few more years before he finally got another crack at making it to the big leagues. He eventually did and as a 32-year-old rookie posted a .220/.281/.407 triple-slash and 111 wRC+ in 50 games with the Phillies in 2012. Last season he batted .213/.280/.386 and 78 wRC+ in 68 games backing up Carlos Ruiz. He bats right-handed but actually has reverse splits at the plate (hits RHP better than LHP).

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Tags: Brad Lincoln Erik Kratz Rob Rasmussen Toronto Blue Jays

  • Andrew van Laar

    Wow I like this trade a lot. One of the back end bullpen arms had to go and Lincoln happened to be the guy. Rasmussen is still young and looks like one day he can with be a back end starter or a solid middle reliever. I don’t fault him for his AAA numbers… I don’t even know why the PCL exists…

    Kratz could become my favorite Jay if he makes the team next year. If Thloe can’t figure out how to hit major leauge pitching again, Kratz is a beast on defense. I mean 32% and 34% CS% in the minors and majors respectively? He’s got a cannon of an arm! Not sure what caused the down turn in CS% last year but I am sure that was an anomaly. He also has some pop as evidence with his 9 HRs the last few years plus he knows how to get on base and take a walk.

    I like this trade muchly :) Solid little move by AA.

    • brad


    • Michael Wray

      Nails, Andrew. Grabbed this from the Morning Call in Philly:

      Catching coach Mick Billmeyer, the club’s longest-tenured coaching staff member, who was previously the bullpen coach (2009-12) and the major league catching instructor (2004-08), watched last season as Kratz grew more and more comfortable with each start, whether it was the way he blocked balls in the dirt or the conviction with which he threw down signals.

      “Pitchers trust him because he’s out for their best interest,” Billmeyer said. “He’s got great, soft hands for a big man, and he’s got a tremendous throwing arm. He can go four, five, six days and have the same arm strength at the end of the week. Some guys go out there and have two or three good days and lose a little. He doesn’t.

      “He’s gotten better. He’s improved in all aspects.”

      Defensively, Kratz (who first saw action with the Phillies in late September 2011) stunned opponents when he often fired from his knees and threw out would-be base stealers. His caught-stealing percentage in 2012 (45 percent, 15 of 33 caught) was better than any year in Ruiz’s career (his best was 34 percent last year, 33 of 64 caught). And when Kratz started a game, the Phillies went 23-15 — that’s a .605 winning percentage.

      • Andrew van Laar

        That’s really interesting about the winning percentage! I wonder what the pitcher’s ERA and WHIP would be in those games as well. I am thinking that it would be better than Ruiz’s number? After work I may look that up.

  • Justin Jay

    Eh… gives the Jays some catching depth. Kratz will probably hold more value to the Jays than Lincoln will to the Phils. Rasmussen becomes anything solid, Jays easily take the trade. Lincoln is essentially what he is at this point… borderline major league bullpen pitcher.

  • brad

    so…. many….. catchers :)

    • Andrew van Laar

      All this catcher talk is Brad’s wildest dreams come true! :P