Angels sign veteran catcher Chris Snyder …
The Angels, concerned over Hank Conger‘s perpetual throwing woes, have agreed to terms with former Nationals catcher Chris Snyder on a Minor League contract with an invitation for Spring Training.
Snyder will be added to the team on Tuesday and will compete for the backup spot behind the plate, turning up the pressure on the young Conger, who has continued to impress with the bat and has made strides with his footwork and receiving skills — but who has also made four throwing errors this spring, three of which came in one game.
Snyder, 32, has posted a .225/.329/.385 slash line in his nine year Major League career. He appeared in 76 games for the Astros in 2012, batting .176 with seven homers and 24 RBIs in 258 plate appearances, then signed a Minor League deal with the Nats after Houston declined his $4 million option.
Snyder’s deal included a clause that allowed him to request his release if he wasn’t on the roster by March 24, so the Nats gave it to him on Monday, six days in advance, and Snyder quickly jumped on with the Angels.
An industry source confirmed on Saturday that the Angels were seeking a cheap, veteran backup catcher, adding that the waiver wire would be the best bet now that teams are paring down the roster. The Angels still believe in Conger, who has one option year left. So if Snyder wins the backup job, the switch-hitting Conger will likely start the season in Triple-A to find the consistent release point that has eluded him.
John Hester (on the 40-man) and Luke Carlin (a non-roster invitee) are the other two catchers technically vying for the backup job, but both have had very inconsistent time in the Majors throughout their careers.