Red Sox interested in Diamondbacks catcher Chris Snyder?

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com wrote this morning that Diamondbacks catcher Chris Snyder is on the Red Sox’s “down-the-road hit list” as a potential midseason trade target. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe also seems to think Snyder is a possible fit.
Arizona spent the offseason trying to deal Snyder, with rumored trades for Lyle Overbay and C.J. Wilson falling through because of questions about his back problems, so it seems likely that he could still be had. However, because Diamondbacks starter Miguel Montero is out for another month or so following knee surgery any Snyder move would have to wait until he returned.
Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek have combined to allow a remarkable 36 steals in 37 attempts through 16 games, leading to speculation that the Red Sox may decide they need a better catch-and-throw guy behind the plate. Snyder doesn’t have a great arm and has thrown out just 3-of-13 steal attempts so far this season, but is at a solid 32 percent for his career and would at the very least stop teams from running at will.
Complicating a Snyder-to-Boston deal is that the Red Sox would have to move Victor Martinez out from behind the plate, which would likely also involve benching David Ortiz. Beyond that Snyder is under contract for $5.75 million in 2011 with a $6.75 million option or $750,000 buyout for 2012, so bringing him in would seemingly make it far more likely that Boston would let Martinez walk as a free agent this offseason. While a great-hitting catcher, Martinez would be merely a good-hitting (and very expensive) designated hitter.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.