UPDATE: Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic hears that the Diamondbacks are “close” to trading Chris Snyder to the Pirates. In fact, according to Piecoro, it sounds like the only thing standing in the way of a deal is approval from the commissioner’s office.
Piecoro is not sure of the players the D-Backs will receive in return or how much of Snyder’s remaining salary the team will cover.
9:48 PM, Friday: Major league sources tell Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com that the Pirates are in talks with the Diamondbacks to acquire catcher Chris Snyder.
Snyder, 29, is batting .231/.352/.426 with 10 homers and 32 RBI over 195 at-bats with the Diamondbacks this season. He is making $4.75 million this season and $5.75 million in 2011. His contract contains a $6.75 million club option for 2012 or a $750,000 buyout.
The Diamondbacks have been attempting to shed his contract for quite a while now, but concerns about his back have scared a number of teams away. He has proved durable this season, even when Miguel Montero was on the disabled list after knee surgery, however the D-Backs would almost certainly have to cover some of the contract.
The trade would obviously be bad news for incumbent catcher Ryan Doumit, who is currently on the disabled list with a concussion. Either catcher would likely only be a placeholder until last year’s No. 1 pick Tony Sanchez is ready for the major leagues. Sanchez, 22, underwent jaw surgery earlier this month and could miss the rest of the season.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.