UPDATE: Pirates close to deal for D-Backs' Chris Snyder

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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.

 

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.