We'll always have the turkey bacon.
In a move that likely won't impact the actual win-loss total of the 2014 Phillies, Ruben Amaro on Tuesday traded back-up catcher and local meat-pitching celebrity Erik Kratz to Toronto, along with minor-league reliever Rob Rasmussen (acquired from the Dodgers in the Michael Young deal last year) for relief pitcher and Josh Lindblom-clone Brad Lincoln.
All teams make moves along the edges in an attempt to shore up depth. Not every off-season move is a Jacoby Ellsbury signing. This is understood. And that is exactly what this is. A Kratz/Rasmussen-for-Lincoln trade is largely inconsequential, although the signing of free agent catcher Wil Nieves makes a little more sense now.
And while the Phils aren't giving up much in Kratz and Rasmussen, they also aren't getting a player that is likely to help them much next year. In 31 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays last year, Lincoln posted an ERA of 3.98, but with a FIP of 5.48 and an xFIP of 5.91. That was good for an fWAR of -0.3.
Lincoln doesn't get a whole lot of ground balls, only about 37.2% of the time in 2013, but does induce a lot of fly ball outs (51.1%), which is always great for a reliever that isn't a pure strikeout pitcher (7.11 K/9) who also walks a lot of guys (6.25 BB/9).
Yes, that was sarcasm.
For his career, the 28-year-old right-hander has a 4.66 ERA in 220 innings. Here is a Brad Lincoln highlight. There weren't a lot from which to choose.
You wouldn't be wrong if he reminded you of the great Josh Lindblom. Although, as CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury pointed out in his write-up, Lincoln did have one stretch of effectiveness back in the first half of 2012, when he had a 2.73 ERA in 59 1/3 innings with Pittsburgh, striking out 60 and walking only 14.
So yeah, you can wish upon that star, if you want.
Meanwhile, the Phils say goodbye to one of the more personable members of the club over the last few years. Kratz certainly had some positive moments during his time as the Phillies' back-up catcher...
...and of course, he made us all love turkey bacon, even though it is a vile meat that should never be eaten by anyone who likes real bacon.
Kratz provided good defense and decent power during his four years with the Phils. In 417 PAs, Kratz hit .220/.281/.407 with 18 HRs, with an fWAR of 0.7 last year and 1.8 total during his two-year run as the Phillies' full-time back-up catcher.
So, so long Erik. We wish you good luck selling turkey Canadian bacon to the fine folks of the Great White North.