Astros decline $4 million option on Chris Snyder

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Chris Snyder hit just .176 in 76 games for the Astros, so not surprisingly they’ve declined his $4 million option for 2013 and will instead pay a $500,000 buyout.

Not so long ago Snyder was an established, young starting catcher, but his health and production have both been issues since leaving the Diamondbacks in mid-2010. At this point he’ll almost certainly have to settle for a backup gig and may need to compete for a roster spot in spring training.

Meanwhile, the Astros are likely to go with 28-year-old minor league veteran Carlos Corporan as Jason Castro’s backup next year.

Shohei Ohtani will undergo Tommy John surgery once the season ends

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The Angels announced on Tuesday that P/DH Shohei Ohtani will undergo Tommy John surgery during the first week of the offseason (next week). The surgery will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. The Angels don’t have a timetable for Ohtani’s recovery yet but will provide more information when it becomes available.

Ohtani, 24, underwent an MRI earlier this month which showed new damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He decided to play out most of the remainder of the season before making a decision. While Ohtani certainly wouldn’t be able to pitch next year, the Angels are confident that he will still be able to function as a full-time DH with no issues.

Ohtani had an outstanding first season in the majors. He hit .280/.361/.564 with 21 home runs, 56 RBI, 55 runs scored, and nine stolen bases in 347 plate appearances. As a pitcher, he posted a 3.31 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 22 walks in 51 2/3 innings across 10 starts.

The Angels have five games left this season, all at home. They have two more against the Rangers, are off Thursday, then wrap up the season with a three-game set with the Athletics.