9:07am: In addition to Snyder, Washington has signed left-hander Braulio Lara, right-hander Derek Eitel and infielder Corban Joseph to minor league pacts with spring training invitations, per a team announcement. The only member of the trio with major league experience is Joseph, who collected seven PAs with the Yankees in 2013.
8:38am: The Nationals have signed free agent utilityman Brandon Snyder to a minor league contract, according to Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com. The deal contains an invitation to big league camp, where Snyder will have a chance to compete for a roster spot on next year’s Nats.
Snyder, who played high school baseball in Northern Virginia, landed on the open market when the Braves outrighted him in mid-October. He was successful last season with Atlanta in a 47-plate appearance sample, though, posting an unusual batting line of .239/.255/.652 with four home runs. In a combined 205 career major league PAs with the Orioles – who chose him in the first round of the 2005 draft – Rangers, Red Sox and Braves, Snyder has slashed .242/.279/.459 with nine long balls. Snyder has seen far more action at the Triple-A level, where he has batted an uninspiring .259/.319/.411 in 1,837 trips to the plate.
The right-handed Snyder, who will turn 30 on Wednesday, could catch on with a Nationals team that currently has an unsettled bench, as Zuckerman notes. Most of Snyder’s major league time has come in the corner infield, though the Nats are set at third base as long as Anthony Rendon stays healthy. First base is perhaps a different story, however, as both Ryan Zimmerman and Clint Robinson are coming off dreadful seasons.