The immediate reaction of most Jays fans when hearing Travis Snider was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Brad Lincoln was one of shock and disappointment . This is to be expected when you trade a player that once looked as if he would be the cornerstone of the franchise all but 18 months ago. When a prospect falls from as high as Snider was, fans generally do not give up on them. But it was time to move on, for various reasons.
Now, Snider is obviously still young (24) and can still become a good player, but he has failed time and time again to prove he belongs. The fact Snider did not work out for the Jays can probably be attributed to the way JP Ricciardi brought him up to the majors so early, but it doesn't change the fact Snider hasn't worked out. He has been in and out of the majors for 5 years now, never being able to stay in the majors long enough. Snider simply has too manly holes in his swing. Keith Law makes the point (starts around 10:04 mark) that with most other hitters you would be able move them close to the plater, crouch down, stand up, lengthen the swing etc. but Snider's holes are just all over the place. The Jays have obviously tried to fix it, but it hasn't worked out. It cant be fixed that easily. It's better to trade him now while he still has value, instead of in a few months when no one wants him.
The Jays desperatly need good relievers. The bullpen (asides from Casey Janssen and Darren Oliver) has been one of the worst in the league. Its been this way for a few years, the revolving door of relievers occurring every off-season. With the Travis Snider and Eric Thames (for Steve Delabar) trades this solves the problem. Both pitchers the Jays acquired are under control until at least 2017. No longer will the Jays have to pick up players such as Jon Rauch and Francisco Cordero in the off-season. The Jays were weak in the bullpen and they acquired help from a position of strength, which brings me to my next point.
The Jays have outfielders, lots of them. With Bautista and Rasmus at RF and CF respectively, the Jays essentially had Travis Snider, Eric Thames, Rajai Davis, Anthony Gose, Jake Marisnick and Moises Sierra competing for the LF spot. Even taking out Snider and Thames you still have Davis, Gose, Marisnick and Sierra not to mention the other various outfield prospects they have. The loss of Snider and Thames was simply one the Jays could take. Snider will be missed, but he is easily replaced.
Many fans will still be upset that the Jays traded their once "cant-miss" prospect, but it was the right thing to do. Whether or not Snider will be a good player remains to be seen, but for now it seems AA has made another good move.