Los Angeles Angels Spice Up Position Battle at Catcher
The Los Angeles Angels made a signing on Monday that doesn’t quite possess the sizzle of an Albert Pujols or Josh Hamilton, but does give them a veteran catcher to join Angels manager Mike Scioscia, a longtime major-league catcher himself. Chris Snyder signed with the franchise Monday morning after being released hours earlier by the Washington Nationals, according to The Washington Post.
Snyder heads to L.A. after spending the winter providing insurance for the Nats as injured catcher Wilson Ramos recovers from knee surgery and now finds a new opportunity on the West Coast after his short stint in Washington.
“I knew coming in I wasn’t competing for a spot,” Snyder, who had went 4-for-18 with a homer and two RBI this spring with the Nats, told The Post. “I was here and able to work out and showcase and provide them with insurance if their guys weren’t ready. Their guys are ready. They look good. The team looks great.”
MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez pointed out on Twitter that Snyder may opt out of the contract if he isn’t on the Angels’ roster by opening day. It is speculated that he will battle for the backup catcher spot behind Chris Iannetta with Hank Conger and John Hester. This need for depth at the position was sparked by backup catcher Conger’s throwing issues of late.
However, Snyder has issues of his own, as the Los Angeles Times notes.
“(Snyder) may not be much of an upgrade,” wrote Kevin Baxter. “He’s allowed seven steals in as many tries this spring and hit better than .200 only twice in his last four big league seasons.”
The 33-year-old veteran possesses a .284 career batting average and .357 on-base percentage in 306 regular-season at bats.