Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports the Pirates have acquired outfielder Travis Snider from the Blue Jays for right-hander Brad Lincoln. Both were first-round picks in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, as Snider was picked 14th overall while Lincoln was picked fourth.
The Pirates have been looking for another outfielder for a while now. Snider isn’t a big name like Justin Upton of the Diamondbacks, but the Pirates didn’t have to give up the farm to get him, either. The 24-year-old entered play tonight with an underwhelming .247/.305/.429 batting line over 914 plate appearances in the big leagues and has a penchant for the strikeout, but he could still develop as a middle-of-the-order power threat. He’ll be under team control through 2016.
Lincoln, 27, has a solid 2.73 ERA and 60/14 K/BB ratio over 59 1/3 innings this season. The Blue Jays could give him another chance as a starter, but he’s more likely to be successful in his current relief role.
Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.
It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.
While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.
If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.