Remember that time way back in the spring when one of the biggest stories around the Blue Jays was the roster spot competition between Eric Thames and Travis Snider? That feels like so long ago, doesn’t it? And did we ever figure out who won? Thames started the season in Toronto but didn’t last, and Snider, who finally got his most recent chance a few days ago, just got dealt to the Pirates for some pitching before he could really prove anything.
I try not to let trades annoy me too much in general, but this one is hard.
As a fan, I don’t feel like Snider was ever truly given a fair shot here. They’d bring him up, hype him up and then send him back down. Last year they told him he was finally up for good, which lasted a little while before he was sent back down again. From an outsider’s perspective, no wonder he didn’t succeed. Messing with a guy the way they seemed to be messing with Snider doesn’t do much for the old confidence, especially when you’re trying your best to play up to some really high expectations. It felt, at times, like they set him up to fail. I don’t think they did, but it’s difficult not to think it.
But on the other hand, there were signs of trouble. He would come up like a house of fire, but then something would always happen that would need fixing. His swing would go wonky. He would get hurt. It all happened more than once. All of this is to say that very possibly, from the organization’s point of view, they weren’t seeing what we the fans wanted to see and did what they felt they needed to do.
The Jays do need pitching, and Brad Lincoln is pitching. He can start if the Jays need a starter in a pinch which lord knows they might, considering how this year has gone. And he’s better out of the bullpen, and again, considering how this year has gone I’m not going to complain about that. I’m just surprised that it was a simple one for one trade. I always envisioned Snider as somebody who it would take quite a bit more than that to part with, but what do I know?
I hope he does live up to the hype and potential. There truly is something special about him. He’s fast, he can hit for power and he’s a pretty solid fielder. It’ll just suck to see him hit that stride with somebody else.
In all of this, I didn’t mention the other trade that came down last night. It involved, of all people, Eric Thames. The Jays sent him to the Mariners for Steve Delabar. Yes, more pitching.
My feelings on this one aren’t nearly as strong or conflicted. I like Thames, but in my mind there was never a contest in spring training. I mean no disrespect by that, it’s just that Thames isn’t a Snider. There’s nothing wrong with him and I think in time he’ll do reasonably well for himself, I just can’t imagine him being what I think Snider is going to be in a few years.