Chris Snyder Rumors
The Astros declined their 2013 option for Chris Snyder, GM Jeff Luhnow confirmed to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com (Twitter link). Snyder obtains a $500K buyout instead of a $4MM salary. The LSW Baseball client is now a free agent.
Snyder, 31, appeared in 76 games for the Astros this past season. He posted a .176/.295/.308 batting line in 258 plate appearances, adding seven home runs.
With tonight's 3-0 win over the Cubs, the Astros have now recorded three straight shutouts for the first time since 1986. It's a small measure of consolation for a team that has already clinched the worst record in baseball and the first overall pick in next year's amateur draft. Here's the latest from Houston and elsewhere around the NL Central...
- Kevin Correia cracked the 170-inning plateau with tonight's start, earning him a $100K bonus, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Correia will be a free agent this winter and is rumored to be parting ways with the Pirates, given that he's already requested a trade earlier this season.
- Bryan LaHair thinks he has a 50-50 chance of being traded by the Cubs this offseason, he tells ESPN Chicago's Doug Padilla.
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow is undecided about bringing back Chris Snyder next season, though he's been impressed by Snyder's veteran leadership, reports MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. The Astros and Snyder have a $4MM mutual option for 2013, an option that seems unlikely to be exercised by the club given Snyder's poor hitting this season and the fact that $4MM is a high price for a backup catcher. It's possible the Astros could decline the option and still bring Snyder back on a smaller contract.
- Ron Roenicke tells reporters (including MLB.com's Adam McCalvy) that the Brewers will bring their current coaching staff back next season.
We've already heard that the Reds don't expect to make any additions before Spring Training. Here are the latest rumors from the rest of the NL Central...
- Chris Snyder, who signed with the Astros earlier this offseason, says a part of him had always wanted to join his hometown team, according to Zachary Levine and Sam Khan Jr. of the Houston Chronicle. The 31-year-old backstop is a Houston native.
- Newly-hired director of decision sciences Sig Mejdal explained to Levine how he intends to use data in a way that will allow the Astros to improve their on-field product.
- Dmitri Young worked out for the Pirates today and manager Clint Hurdle said he got a good read on the first baseman/outfielder, according to Tom Singer of MLB.com. "He met all the criteria we wanted to see," Hurdle said. "He ran the bases, took balls at first base, threw from the outfield and hit from both sides of the plate." The 38-year-old is attempting a comeback after losing 70 pounds.
- In case you missed it, Brewers reliever Jose Veras had an arbitration hearing today and the Cubs are interested in Ramon Ortiz.
TUESDAY, 7:10pm: Snyder will earn $750K in 2012 with $350K of it being guaranteed, reports ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (all Twitter links). He can earn an additional $1.75MM in bonuses, and the mutual option for 2013 is worth $4MM with a $500K buyout.
FRIDAY, 11:13am: The Astros announced that they signed catcher Chris Snyder to a one-year deal that includes a mutual option for 2013. LSW Baseball represents the eight-year veteran.
Snyder spent much of the 2011 season on the 60-day disabled list with lower back tightness. The 30-year-old posted a .271/.376/.396 line in 119 plate appearances when healthy, but the Pirates declined their option on him after the season. Snyder, who joins Jason Castro and Humberto Quintero on Houston's roster, owns a .231/.333/.394 career line.
10 National League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make today, and we'll update them in this post in advance of the 11pm central time deadline. For a fantastic customizable chart with all 57 Type A/B free agents and their teams' decisions in real-time, click here.
Updated team decisions:
- The Giants won't offer arbitration to Pat Burrell (B) or Cody Ross (B) according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). Carlos Beltran (A) contractually cannot be offered arbitration.
- The Dodgers declined to offer Hiroki Kuroda (B) arbitration, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (on Twitter). Rod Barajas (B) already signed with the Pirates.
- The Pirates offered arbitration to Derrek Lee (B) while declining to offer Ryan Ludwick (B) and Chris Snyder (B) arbitration. Ryan Doumit (B) already signed with the Twins.
- The Phillies did not offer Roy Oswalt (A) or Brad Lidge (B) arbitration, according to the AP (via ESPN). The team announced that it offered arbitration to Raul Ibanez (B), Ryan Madson (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick), and Jimmy Rollins (A), according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- The Cubs offered arbitration to Carlos Pena (B) and Aramis Ramirez (B) but not to Kerry Wood (B), according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Cardinals offered Edwin Jackson (B) and Albert Pujols (A) arbitration, but declined to make offers to Rafael Furcal (B) and Arthur Rhodes (B), according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). That leaves Octavio Dotel (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary).
- The Mets offered Jose Reyes (A) arbitration, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (on Twitter).
- The Padres will offer arbitration to Heath Bell (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) and Aaron Harang (B), tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com.
- The Brewers offered Prince Fielder (A) and Francisco Rodriguez (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) arbitration. They declined to offer Yuniesky Betancourt (B) arbitration. Takashi Saito (A), contractually cannot be offered arbitration.
- The Braves did not offer arbitration to Alex Gonzalez (B), according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Teams with automatic decisions only:
- Reds: Francisco Cordero (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary), Ramon Hernandez (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary)
- Astros: Clint Barmes (B, already signed with Pirates)
- Rockies: Mark Ellis (B, already signed with Dodgers)
The decision on Cedeno was the Pirates' one unknown. Though a case could be made that the value of Cedeno's ability to play shortstop exceeded the $2.8MM net price of his option, the Pirates will aim higher than his .249/.297/.339 batting line.
For Maholm, the Pirates chose a $750K buyout over his $9.75MM club option. The lefty told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "The day I was put on the DL, I realized my time in Pittsburgh was done." Prior to that season-ending stint for a shoulder injury, the 29-year-old posted a 3.66 ERA, 5.4 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 0.61 HR/9, and 49.9% groundball rate in 162 1/3 innings. As one of the ten best starters on the free agent market this winter, he's in line for a multiyear deal.
The Pirates' decisions to pay Snyder a $750K buyout over a $6.75MM option and Doumit a $500K buyout over a $7.25MM option were well-known. Both players have offensive ability, and should be relatively popular on the free agent market. Doumit's defense and durability questions will likely prevent a team from offering a full-time catching job, while Snyder will have to compete for one after missing most of 2011 with a back injury.
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.
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.
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.
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 McKenry. Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talked to McKenry about how the young backstop has developed this season.