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.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.