Phillies Nation: 11/26
Right-handed reliever Brad Lincoln, 28, had a 3.98 ERA in 31 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays last season. (USA Today Images)
On a busy day of wheeling and dealing in baseball, the Phillies jumped into the act Tuesday night and acquired relief pitcher Brad Lincoln from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for backup catcher Erik Kratz and minor-league reliever Rob Rasmussen.
Lincoln, a 28-year-old right-hander, was the fourth overall pick (by Pittsburgh) in the 2006 draft. He was traded to Toronto in July 2012 and split the 2013 season between Triple A and the majors. He had a 2.05 ERA in 26 1/3 innings in Triple A. He had a 3.98 ERA in 31 2/3 innings with the big club and walked 22 batters while striking out 25.
Lincoln’s best run in the majors came in the first half of 2012 when he had 2.73 ERA in 59 1/3 innings with the Pirates. He struck out 60 and walked 14 over that span.
The Phillies had been looking to add depth to their bullpen and will likely continue to do so as the winter meetings arrive next week.
Kratz, 33, is a local guy out of Christopher Dock High School in Lansdale, Pa. He had been the Phillies’ backup catcher for two seasons. He hit nine homers and drove in 26 runs in limited duty in both seasons, but his batting average slipped from .248 to .213 in 2013.
The Phillies probably won’t be in the market for a backup to No. 1 catcher Carlos Ruiz for very long. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the Phils were close to signing 36-year-old free agent Wil Nieves.
The Phils like Cameron Rupp as a potential backup catcher, but could look to get him more playing time at Triple A.
In addition to Kratz, the Phils also sent Rasmussen, a 24-year-old lefty reliever, to Toronto. Rasmussen, a former second-round pick of the Marlins, never threw an official pitch in the Phillies system. He was acquired from the Dodgers in late August for Michael Young. The Phillies recently added Rasmussen to the 40-man roster.
The Phillies’ trade came on a busy day that saw a number of deals go down, including the Yankees reaching an agreement with free-agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, the Marlins signing free-agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and the Astros acquiring outfielder Dexter Fowler from Colorado.