Travis and Eric: Happy Trails

Tuesday, July 31 2012 @ 02:54 PM EDT

Contributed by: Magpie

What's all this then? I go away for one freakin' day and all hell breaks loose?

 As you probably heard, last night the Blue Jays have traded OF Travis Snider to Pittsburgh for RHP Brad Lincoln. They then traded OF Eric Thames to Seattle for RHP Steve Delabar.

Which is one way to put an end to these guys competing with each other for the same job.

It also puts an end to the utterly inexplicable level of investment that had developed around Snider. It began on the day he was drafted - Ricciardi took a high school kid with a first round pick? He must be very special, surely?

It continued through his somewhat puzzling promotion to AAA in August 2008, and reached fever pitch with the utterly insane decision - one last desperate throw of the dice by a failing GM - to bring him to the majors in time for September 2008. Which, of course, is why he's out of options after this season.

Someday we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny.

Only one young hitter in franchise history had been pushed into the major leagues faster than Snider. That was Lloyd Moseby, of course. Moseby spent three full seasons being an absolutely terrible player on what was for the most part a pretty terrible team. That may have been why nobody cared too much at the time. All the same, it was dumb then, and it was dumb now. As is probably too well known around here, I jumped ship a long, long time ago on the Snider hype - I thought he looked a lot more like the next Glenallen Hill (but better, better) than the next Carlos Delgado - but I certainly think he can be a solid corner outfielder in the major leagues. It should be good for him to put Toronto, and all Toronto represents in terms of hope and expectation, behind him. And just get on with being a baseball player. He seems like a really likeable young man, and good luck to him.

Eric Thames was taken two years after Snider, out of Pepperdine in the 7th round of the 2008 draft. He was slowed by injuries in both 2008 and 2009. At that point, Snider (who's four months younger than Thames) had more at bats in the majors than Thames had as a pro. Thames was finally healthy in 2010 and put together an impressive season in AA. The next year, after a strong start in Vegas, he made it to the show and we all got to see him for ourselves. He's an adventure and a half in the outfield, although he certainly doesn't lack for hustle. On the plus side, he's a terrific baserunner, and I think he may hit enough to serve quite capably as a platoon left fielder.

Moises Sierra has been spotted on a flight to Seattle (courtesy of Eric Thames' twitter feed), and evidently Joel Carreno and Evan Crawford are being dispatched back to the minors.

So it looks like the next week or so will be an audition for Sierra and Gose to determine who gets to hang around when Jose Bautista returns from the DL.