Nationals sign catcher Chris Snyder to a minor league contract

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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.

Nationals promote 19-year-old prospect Juan Soto

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The Nationals recalled 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, per a team announcement. Soto is poised to become the youngest player in the league once he makes his official debut with the club, and the Nationals’ first teenager to enter the majors since Bryce Harper made his first appearance back in 2012.

Entering the 2018 season, Soto was ranked no. 2 in the Nationals’ system and 15th overall. He’s certainly lived up to the hype during his first two years of pro ball, blazing through Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels in 2018 alone. While he logged just eight games at the Double-A level prior to his promotion to the majors, he proved consistent across all three levels this spring and slashed a cumulative .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and a 1.218 OPS in 182 plate appearances.

It’s not entirely clear how soon or in what capacity the Nationals will utilize their youngest player, but Soto’s tear through the minors is sure to pave the road for a few opportunities on the big-league level. He’ll be available off the bench for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.