Chris Snyder Rumors

Quick Hits: Pirates, CBA, Cubs, Royals

Some late-night links on this Saturday night …

  • The Pirates are considering exercising shortstop Ronny Cedeno's $3MM 2012 option, but they will likely pass on options for Chris Snyder ($6.75MM), Ryan Doumit ($7.25MM) and Paul Maholm ($9.75MM), according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. As well, Langosch adds the Bucs have interest in re-signing first baseman Derrek Lee but will probably allow Ryan Ludwick to walk in free agency.
  • MLB and the players union are close on a new collective bargaining agreement, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com, although slotting for draft signing bonuses remains an issue of debate. Commissioner Bud Selig and some small-market teams are in favor of hard slotting, according to Heyman.
  • Cubs president Theo Epstein said he wants to talk to starter Carlos Zambrano before deciding how to proceed in handling the right-hander, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, whether that be retaining Zambrano or trying to trade him. As well, Epstein hinted at one of the organization's overarching goals: "We're looking for assets," Epstein said. "We're going to scratch and claw and do everything in our power — in the Draft, internationally, small trades, waiver claims. We need to build assets because we don't have enough of them.
  • Royals GM Dayton Moore told Dick Kaegel of MLB.com that he will "explore trade possibilities to add a starter." Moore said the Royals probably won't try to sign a free-agent starter, however.

NL Central Notes: Pujols, Pirates, Astros

Let's turn our attention to the National League Central where we lead off with, who else, Albert Pujols..

  • If there was any doubt before, it's completely erased now: Albert Pujols is going to hit the free agent jackpot at the age of 31, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  One performance logically shouldn't have a great effect on a player's value, but Rosenthal argues that all it takes is one team to take a contrary position.
  • If, as expected, the Pirates move on without Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder, GM Neal Huntington said the team is "comfortable" with their internal options at catcher but will explore outside options as well, writes Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • The Astros have hired Bryan Lambe as an area scout, tweets MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.  Lambe and Wayne Krivsky, both hires of ex-GM Omar Minaya, were let go by the Mets exactly one month ago today.

Pirates To Decline Options On Snyder, Doumit

General manager Neal Huntington said that the Pirates intend to decline club options for Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder after the conclusion of the World Series, writes Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.  As Tim Dierkes wrote on Wednesday, both moves were expected.

Doumit's option would have paid him $7.25MM in 2012 and $8.25MM in 2013.  The 30-year-old has strugged to stay healthy in recent years, playing 75 games in 2009, 124 games in 2010, and 77 games this past season.

The Pirates acquired Snyder in a five-player deal last July.  The catcher's 2012 option would have paid him $6.75MM but he'll instead collect a $750K buyout.  Snyder saw action in just 34 games this season but has a career slash line of .271/.376/.396.



Pirates Notes: Doumit, Snyder, Ohlendorf

The latest from the Bucs, who are looking to keep their streak of losing seasons from reaching 20 next year…

  • The Pirates are expected to decline contract options on Ryan Doumit, Chris Snyder and Paul Maholm, plus non-tender Ross Ohlendorf, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  Doumit will earn a $500K buyout and says he hasn't considered renegotiating his contract in order to possibly remain in Pittsburgh.
  • Ohlendorf tells Biertempfel that he'd like to return next season. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes listed Ohlendorf as "on the non-tender bubble" in his recent analysis of the Buccos' arbitration-eligible players.  Ohlendorf would receive just a modest raise from his $2.025MM salary in 2011, though Biertempfel believes that the Pirates can't afford paying that much to a pitcher who projects best as an extra bullpen arm.
  • With Doumit and Snyder possibly both gone, it could leave the catcher's job wide open for Michael McKenryBill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talked to McKenry about how the young backstop has developed this season.

NL Central Notes: Snyder, Cardinals, Cubs, Astros

The Cardinals are optimistic that Matt Holliday will return from a finger injury before the season ends, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Getting the star left fielder would be a major boost for the Cardinals, who are chasing the Braves in the National League Wild Card race. Here's the latest on the NL Central…

  • Chris Snyder told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he'd like the Pirates to pick up his $6.75MM option for 2012 (Twitter link). It seems more likely that they'll pay a $750K buyout for the catcher, who has a .772 OPS in 119 plate appearances this year.
  • Cardinals GM John Mozeliak says talks between Rafael Furcal and the Cardinals are progressing slowly, according to Nate Latsch and Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. The Cardinals aren't gaining momentum on an extension for Lance Berkman, either.
  • Gary Hughes, who was named one of the top ten scouts of the century by Baseball America, told the Cubs that he will not return in 2012, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. Hughes, a 45-year veteran of pro baseball had been a special assistant under former GM Jim Hendry
  • Astros executives met with manager Brad Mills and his coaching staff yesterday to discuss the past year and look ahead to the 2012 roster, according to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. The executives and field staff exchanged ideas about players, particularly free agents and those who will be out of options next Spring Training.
  • The Astros are inviting all of their coaches back for 2012, according to senior director of social media Alyson Footer (on Twitter). GM Ed Wade told McTaggart that pitching coach Doug Brocail has yet to commit to returning in 2012 (Twitter link).
  • First overall pick Gerrit Cole is likely to pitch in the Arizona Fall League this year, Jenifer Langosch writes at MLB.com. The Pirates haven't made an official announcement regarding the right-hander's participation at this point.

NL Central Notes: Lopez, Brewers, Snyder

A few items of note out of the NL Central, where the first-place Brewers owned a 9.5-game lead entering Saturday's action:

  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin said he's giving infielder Felipe Lopez time to look for a job with another team before he must accept an assignment to Triple-A, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Lopez was recently designated for assignment, cleared waivers, and outrighted to Nashville.
  • Melvin also mentioned that the Brewers were awarded two waivers claims but were unable to reach agreement on trades to acquire the claimed players, Haudricourt reports (Twitter link). It sounds like the claimed players were lefty relievers, according to Haudricourt.
  • Pirates catcher Chris Snyder, on the DL since June, is hoping to return to action before the season's out, writes Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. The Bucs hold a $6.75MM option ($750K buyout) on Snyder for 2012, and Langosch speculates that while the Pirates may not find the option attractive, they might be interested in buying it out and re-signing Snyder at a lower cost.

Red Sox Still Considering Catching Options

The Red Sox have made contact with Bengie Molina, but aren't ready to move on him yet, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. With Jason Varitek and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hitting a combined .179/.246/.241 in 123 plate appearances this season, Molina could grow more appealing to the Sox in the near future.

We heard last month that Boston was eyeing catching help and that Molina was on the team's list of possibilities. Although Ivan Rodriguez and Chris Snyder were also on that list, Rosenthal says the Sox are "cool" on Pudge, and the Pirates are more inclined to move Ryan Doumit than Snyder.

Jeff Mathis, who received high praise from Varitek, could be available as well. However, as Rosenthal points out, while Mathis is a strong defensive backstop, his .199/.262/.311 career slash line wouldn't help the Sox.


Dead Money: Paying Players To Play Elsewhere

Eating money in trades or by releasing players is far from an ideal business practice, but sometimes it's a necessary evil. The Mets believe they are better off paying Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo a combined $18MM not to be on their team this year, and released the two just last month. David Wharton of The Los Angeles Times wrote about the concept of "dead money" today, speaking to Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, sports economist J.C. Bradbury, and Scott Boras.

With some help from Cot's Baseball Contracts, let's look at the teams that are paying players to be anywhere but on their roster this season…

This doesn't include money the Braves owe Kenshin Kawakami ($7.4MM) or the Yankees owe Kei Igawa ($4MM). Both Japanese imports remain in the organization, but they've since been banished to the minor leagues. It also doesn't include all the money the Mets famously owe Bobby Bonilla for the next two decades.

Yuniesky Betancourt is the only player collecting paychecks from three different big league teams at the moment, but Carlos Silva could join him if he's called up by the Yankees. Gary Matthews Jr. could also be in that mix if he catches on somewhere this summer.


Red Sox Continue Eyeing Catching Help

The Red Sox continue to look out for possible catching help and the names on their potential wish list include Bengie Molina, Ivan Rodriguez and Chris Snyder, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Peter Gammons said today on WEEI’s Mut & Merloni show that the Red Sox are prepared to continue with Jason Varitek and Jarrod Saltalamacchia even though they’ve considered other options. 

“I know what they were trying to do. They looked around. They didn’t have money to spend,” Gammons said. “They couldn’t go get Bengie Molina. They weren’t going to spend the money at this point.”

Boston’s interest in Snyder would likely fade if Pittsburgh’s asking price is high and Rosenthal hears that the Pirates are pleased with the catcher’s game calling and receiving ability so far in 2011. He's hitting at a respectable .333/.387/.407 clip so far and Arizona is responsible for $3MM of the $6.5MM remaining on his contract. As a result, it doesn’t appear that the Pirates are intent on moving him.

Gammons noted that the Red Sox don’t feel they have the answer to their catching issues in the minor leagues. That means trade chatter will likely continue until their current catchers start hitting or they make a move.


Odds & Ends: Cardinals, Blue Jays, Morrow, Delgado

Some links to check out as Brandon Morrow just misses no-hitting the Rays…