One would think the Pirates would be eager to move Chris Snyder, a part-time catcher earning $5.75 million.
The Pirates like Snyder’s presence, game-calling and receiving ability. Snyder is off to a better offensive start thanks to a dramatic increase in his batting average on balls in play. And the Diamondbacks paid $3 million of the $8.19 remaining on Snyder’s contract when they traded him to the Pirates last July 31.
Put it all together, and the Pirates’ asking price will be higher than what most teams will be willing to meet for a backup catcher, according to major-league sources.
Snyder, 30, is among the names on the Red Sox’s potential wish list, along with free agent Bengie Molina and Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez, sources say. But the Sox’s interest almost certainly would diminish if the Pirates wanted a significant return.
The Nats could pose a similar problem with their demands for Rodriguez, who is rapidly losing time to Wilson Ramos. But the Red Sox eventually figure to act on their catching needs. Jarrod Saltalamacchia has struggled both offensively and defensively. Jason Varitek, who has started six of the last 10 games, is only 3-for-30 on the season.
Snyder batted just .169/.268/.298 in 142 plate appearances after joining the Pirates last season, but his .186 BABIP was a strong indicator that he hit into poor luck.
His much-improved numbers this season — .333/.387/.407 in 32 plate appearances — reflect, in part, a spike in his BABIP. Of course, Snyder’s current .474 mark will be almost impossible for him to sustain.
— Ken Rosenthal