The Rangers and outfielder Travis Snider have agreed to a minor league contract, tweets Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Snider’s deal will pay him a base salary of $1MM if he makes the big league roster in Texas.
Snider, a CAA Sports client, spent the 2016 season with Kansas City’s Triple-A affiliate and batted a disappointing .245/.340/.350 in 322 plate appearances. The former first-round pick once rated among the game’s top 10 prospects, per both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus, but that potential was never fulfilled. Snider debuted as a 20-year-old back in 2008 and held his own through parts of three seasons from ages 20-22, hitting .255/.318/.446 with 25 homers in 675 plate appearances.
While Snider’s production tailed off in the coming years, he did enjoy a very nice 2014 campaign in Pittsburgh, hitting .264/.338/.438 with 13 home runs in 359 plate appearances. But, a trade to the Orioles that offseason yielded more struggles, and Snider didn’t appear in the Majors at all last year.
For the Rangers, Snider provides a depth option with MLB experience that can compete for a bench job in Spring Training or head to Triple-A and wait in the wings in the event of an injury. At present, the Rangers project to utilize Nomar Mazara, Carlos Gomez and Shin-Soo Choo in the outfield, though the possibility of adding an outfielder and shifting Choo to the DH slot does exist. Texas is also likely to bring Josh Hamilton back on a minor league contract, so Snider will presumably be competing with him this spring as well.