Los Angeles Angels Rumors: Chris Snyder An Option As Backup Catcher?

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry, Hank Conger.

The Los Angeles Angels like your hitting (1.212 OPS over 24 spring PA, two HRs) just fine, but that throwing arm (four errors in eight starts, three bad throws on Saturday) of yours?

Well, the team doesn’t like that part so much.

Catchers do have the important role of having to play defense behind the plate, after all, and it looks as though the team is not satisfied with settling for their 25-year old former top prospect when he clearly still has work to do in that department.

For that, reason, the team had been reportedly been interested in looking for a new backup, and use up Conger’s final minor league option to have him hone his defensive skills in Triple-A when the 2013 season begins in a couple of weeks.

And what do you know, it looks like a catcher has been recently made available in the most timely of fashions:

Okay, so it probably didn’t exactly work out that way, but the Washington Nationals did sign Chris Snyder to a minor league deal in the off-season as a plan B to Wilson Ramos‘ potential health concerns in spring. That hasn’t been needed thus far, and with Opening Day just a couple of weeks away, it looks as though the team is not going to have too much of a need for Snyder’s services.

That’s good news for the Angels, who could use an affordable, short-term stopgap to back up Chris Ianetta while Conger works on not throwing the ball away in the minors.

Snyder isn’t exactly known as a defensively-minded backstop, but he’s not a total loss there (two defensive runs saved over 5604 innings), and is certainly not lacking in experience.

On top of that, he has a fair bit of pop (seven homers in 258 PA in 2012), and the acquisition price isn’t going to be high (a bit of minor league pitching depth, perhaps?), given that Snyder has a opt-out clause should he not make the Nats’ 25-man roster.

Alternatively, the Angels could just take the wait-and-see approach. But, given that crunch time starts around now for teams to really set their Opening Day rosters, I’d expect them to make a move sooner rather than later.

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