Coming out of the final day of the KC Royals Fan Fest, they announced that they signed outfielder/DH Travis Snider to a minor league deal. It also includes a big league invite to spring training.
Snider has had some up-and-down moments in the Majors, as he spent the 2015 season between Baltimore and Pittsburgh. The O’s traded for Snider from the Pirates in 2014, but then Snider didn’t hit last season, so they released him. He then re-signed with the Pirates and was a September callup.
Snider is just 28 years old and was the 14th overall pick back in 2006 by Toronto (and was once their top prospect) and I remember watching him come up through the Blue Jays system. His best seasons were 2010 and 2014, where he hit double-digit homers (14 with a .255 average with the Blue Jays and 13 and a .264 average with the Pirates). He has only played in 100 or more games twice in his big league career (111 in 2013 and 140 in 2014 with the Pirates).
The signing of Snider gives the Royals 11 outfielders in big league camp. The Royals had talked about a platoon of Paulo Orlando and Jarrod Dyson in right field. However, I think that if Snider has a good enough showing in spring training, he will be platooning with Orlando (or playing every day). Dyson will be back to his normal bench duty.
It is a shame that Snider will be getting a much longer look in spring training than deserving minor league guys like Jose Martinez and Brett Eibner.
We will see.
*In other minor league news, the Royals signed right-handed reliever Lester Oliveros to a minor league deal. He made his professional debut with Detroit back in 2006 and made his big league debut in 2011 with the Tigers. Oliveros moved on to Minnesota, where he pitched in the big leagues in 2011, 2012, and 2014.
Last season with Triple-A Rochester, he has a respectable 3.79 ERA in 24 games (four starts). However, he only threw 35.2 innings with opponents hitting .277 against him. He walked 13 and struck out 46. Oliveros did not pitch after the end of June (shoulder inflammation) and had shoulder issues and Tommy John surgery in the past.
The Royals sure are stockpiling Triple-A Omaha with free agent pitchers.