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March 20, 2013

Transaction Analysis

Angels Take a Backup Snyder

by R.J. Anderson

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IN THIS ISSUE

American League

ANAHEIM ANGELS
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Signed C-R Chris Snyder. [3/18]

Snyder spent breakfast with the Nationals before joining the Angels for lunch. He figures to serve as Chris Iannetta's backup, and he fits the mold of a reserve backstop well. Most of Snyder's value is derived from his defense. He's a solid target behind the plate with a strong, albeit occasionally inaccurate arm. At the plate Snyder has a feel for the strike zone and a willingness to work deep into counts. This leads to walks and, when paired with his long swing, strikeouts. Every now and again Snyder will clobber a ball, but his days as a good offensive catcher appear to be in the rear view mirror.

If Snyder is the Angels' Plan B behind the plate (and, given the opt-out clause in this deal, there's a chance he's not) then what becomes of Hank Conger? Conger still has an option year remaining, so he doesn't have to be moved just yet. But you wonder if the Angels won't shop him, or listen to offers. Mike Scioscia values catcher defense, which happens to be the worst part of Conger's game—though to be fair, it's not like Conger has hit his way onto the roster. If given the right situation Conger could develop into a switch-hitter with some pop and the ability to hit for a decent average. As is he's still waiting on the opportunity to slump without losing his spot.

NEW YORK YANKEES
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Released OF-R Matt Diaz. [3/17]

Signed OF-L Brennan Boesch. [3/16]

You had to know that at some point the Boesch and Ben Francisco additions would lead to another outfielder getting the heave-ho from camp. Diaz is—or was, presumably—the weakest link, and so he's gone. His prospects for continuing to play ball were dim to begin with, and now might be extinguished. But when one light goes off another goes on, or something like that, and Juan Rivera's job security is better now than it was a week ago. Take that as you will. 

As for Boesch, we talked about him last week following his release from the Tigers:

For his part Boesch should land on his feet in short order. He's a large guy with a long swing and big-time power potential, though it doesn't always show in games. Boesch offers little beyond his bat, so he'll need to hit to stick on his next club. Still, he should come cheap and does have years of team control remaining.

 

It's easy to envision Boesch taking advantage of Yankees Stadium's lefty-friendly dimensions. Whether he'll do it enough to merit a roster spot for the long haul is anyone's guess. 

TORONTO BLUE JAYS
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Claimed RHP Guillermo Moscoso off waivers from the Royals. [3/16]

The Jays love claiming potentially useful relief arms off waivers. That's about the extent of Moscoso's upside nowadays. Here's what I wrote on him last week:

 

You might remember Moscoso from his improbable 2011 season when, in 21 starts, he posted a 3.38 ERA for the Athletics. The A's, no doubt wary of a large unearned run total, sent Moscoso to the Rockies as part of the Seth Smith deal. Predictably, the Venezuelan native came back to Earth in 2012, to the point where all of his runs were earned. So it goes. Moscoso does have nice movement on his fastball but little else to offer. He could latch on with a pitching-starved team or try his luck overseas

 

R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

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