The Nationals have signed veteran catcher Chris Snyder to a minor league contract, according to an announcement from the team. The deal includes a spring training invite.
Snyder appeared in nine games with the Orioles this past season, but spent the majority of the season at the Triple-A level. The 32-year-old backstop hit .176/.295/.308 with seven home runs and 24 RBI over 258 plate appearances with the Astros in 2012.
Snyder should compete with Sandy Leon and Jhonatan Solano in spring training to serve as Wilson Ramos’ backup. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that he could earn $1 million plus incentives if he makes the team.
The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.
Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.
The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.
The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.