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Blue Jays Trade Brad Lincoln To Phillies For Erik Kratz and Rob Rasmussen

Hunter Martin

The news just broke that reliever Brad Lincoln has been shipped to Philadelphia for catcher Erik Kratz and left-handed reliever Rob Rasmussen. Lincoln came to Toronto in the Travis Snider deal and became a solid pitcher out of the bullpen. The 28-year-old split time between AAA Buffalo and the big squad this year ending 2013 with a 3.98 ERA in Toronto. The righty still has four more years of team control, although he is out of options.

Ken Rosenthal first reported the news:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href=";src=hash">#Phillies</a> announce acquisition of RHP Brad Lincoln from <a href=";src=hash">#Blue</a> Jays for C Eri Kratz and LHP Rob Rasmussen.</p>&mdash; Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) <a href="">December 4, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Coming to Toronto is 33-year-old catcher Erik Kratz and 24-year-old reliever Rob Rasmussen. Kratz was originally drafted by Toronto in 2002, but was released six years later without ever making it to the major leagues. Afterwards he signed on with Pittsburgh where he made his debut, but was quickly granted free agency again. He then signed with Philadelphia and has been the back-up catcher for the Phillies during the past two seasons. He appeared in 68 games last season hitting .213/.280/.386 with 9 home runs. Kratz kind of fits the profile of departed J.P. Arencibia when you consider the fact that he has struggled to take walks in the big leagues and strikes out way too much. Kratz's service time currently sits at 1.158 going into the 2014 season.

Minor Leaguer also found out a fun fact about Kratz:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Fun fact! Erik Kratz played in last season of three Blue Jays affiliates: Medicine Hat Blue Jays, New Haven Ravens, and Syracuse Chiefs</p>&mdash; Minor Leaguer (@Minor_Leaguer) <a href="">December 4, 2013</a></blockquote>

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There's also this article from Baseball Prospectus that talks way too much about Erik Kratz, although it does bring us this GIF:



Rob Rasmussen is a left-handed pitcher from California who was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft by the Marlins. He was then included in the Carlos Lee trade to Houston and the Michael Young trade to Philadelphia this September. Rasmussen has never appeared in a major league game and spent 2013 scuffling in the Dodgers farm system. He is 5'9", which is the same height as fellow Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman.

An article on the Dodgers SB Nation website had this to say about the newest Blue Jays pitcher:

He has a 4-pitch mix and while he maxes out at 92 mph, it’s his curveball, slider, and location of his pitches that allow him to get by. While I don’t think Rob will ever be a great big league pitcher, I do think he has what it takes to eventually settle into the back of a big league rotation. He’s proven he can compete with the best of them, and it will be interesting to see where his career goes from here.

So essentially it's an "okay" reliever without options going one way for a below average catcher and a reliever that might figure it out and end up being a big leaguer. There will be a lot more added to the story as it develops.