So who got the best deal, the Phillies or the Toronto Blue Jays? We saw catcher Erik Kratz and southpaw Rob Rasmussen bought up by the Blue Jays, but we got right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln in return.
Maybe this is our way of playing money-ball? But who got the best deal will take time to play out. Kratz came on in 68 games us last season, posting a .213 batting average, hitting nine home runs, with 26 runs batted in. This was a little below the 33-year-old’s career average of .220 and 18 home runs - and 53 RBIs over his four seasons with the Phillies and, previously, the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The younger Rasmussen was a different proposition entirely, though, and this makers the move even more “interesting”! The 24-year-old combined to post a 3-11 record, with a 4.11 earned-run average over his 28 games, 24 starts between the AA and AAA affiliates of the LA Dodgers. At just five feet nine inches and weighing in around 160 pounds, Rasmussen struck out 113 batters in the 135.2 innings he pitched last season. He had only been brought in to the Phillies as a swap for Michael Young at the end of August. The 28 year-old Brad Lincoln, meanwhile, played 22 times for the Toronto Blue Jays during 2013 and was 1-2, with a 3.98 ERA. This 6-foot right-hander weighs in at 225 pounds has a career record of 9-11 - with one save and a 4.66 ERA played out over 97 games, with 22 starts for Toronto and Pittsburgh. If you’re a gambling man, the move may change things, but which way is the key. A bet on the baseball can be a great way of generating an interest in the sport if you aren’t already a fan, or if you’re an international fan where gambling laws are less restrictive than in the US. The world’s largest betting exchange Betfair, for example, is seeing ever greater interest in our sport.
In many European countries where legalised gambling is huge business, baseball has barely scratched the surface so far. But that may change given the moves to loosen the legislation surrounding gambling here – and with ever-increasing efforts to popularise our sport over there.
With Betfair, there is no bookie, as such; it’s simply an exchange between backers and layers. This could play into the hands of baseball aficionados here where the expertise truly lies. So what do you think; with Kratz and Rasmussen out and Lincoln in, are we stronger or weaker?