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.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: