The Royals added to a growing collection of corner outfield options on Saturday, signing veteran Travis Snider to a minor-league deal with an invitation to major-league spring training.
Snider, who turns 28 next week, is a former top prospect who batted .232 with a .313 on-base percentage and four home runs in 87 games for Baltimore and Pittsburgh last season. He began last season in Baltimore after being traded from Pittsburgh in January. He played just 69 games for the Orioles before being released. He cleared waivers and re-signed with the Pirates, where he finished out the season.
A former first-round pick of the Blue Jays in 2006, the left-handed hitting Snider made his major-league debut at age 20 in 2008, but his career never took off in Toronto. He batted .248 with a .306 on-base percentage and 31 homers in five seasons with the Blue Jays.
He was traded to Pittsburgh during the 2012 season, and his best year came with the Pirates in 2014, when he batted .264 with a .776 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 140 games. For his career, Snider is batting .244 with a .311 on-base percentage. According to advanced metrics, he is a slightly below average defender.
The addition of Snider offers outfield depth and a possible option in right field as the Royals seek to find an adequate replacement for the departed Alex Rios. On Friday, Royals manager Ned Yost said he envisioned that Jarrod Dyson and Paulo Orlando could form “some sort of platoon” in right field.
The Royals will head to spring training with a host of other reserve outfield options on their 40-man roster, including Reymond Fuentes, Brett Eibner, Jorge Bonifacio, Terrance Gore and former first-round pick Bubba Starling.