Pirates Have Expressed Interest in Travis Snider

Travis Snider was released by the Baltimore Orioles yesterday, which is probably significant news to a lot of Pirates fans that were upset when he was traded away this Spring. On his radio show on 93.7 The Fan today, Neal Huntington said that the Pirates have already reached out to Snider, and that there is some interest. Dan Zangrilli and David Todd have the details from Twitter:

The outrage over the Snider trade was probably too high. He was a bench player who had two strong months at the end of the 2014 season. There was a chance he was finally breaking out and becoming a starter, but there was also a chance that was a fluke, and he’d regress back to being a bench player. The Pirates sold high and got left-handed pitching prospects Stephen Tarpley and Steven Brault. I wrote about Tarpley today, and Sean McCool wrote about Brault earlier this week.

Trading Snider ended up being the right move, and the evidence is clear today. The Orioles are a team struggling to make the playoffs, currently sitting on the outside of the Wild Card race, and in need of outfield help. And they released Snider. Just a few months ago, the Pirates were able to trade him for two legit left-handed pitching prospects. This continues the buy low/sell high game with Snider, as they originally got him in exchange for Brad Lincoln, who they sold high on after a few months of strong relief in the majors (which he didn’t repeat), at a point when Snider was struggling to stick in the majors.

It would then make sense to try and add Snider again at another low point now that he’s a free agent. However, the need for Snider isn’t huge. The Pirates currently have a bench that includes Michael Morse, Travis Ishikawa, Pedro Florimon, and Sean Rodriguez. They also have Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison returning in the upcoming weeks. My guess is that Florimon will go when Mercer returns, and Ishikawa could go when Harrison returns.

Ishikawa has similar career stats to Snider, and the two have had a similar value in 2015, especially when you compare┬áSnider’s numbers after his first week of the season, and Ishikawa’s numbers with the Pirates. They’re both options who would be good for the bench, great to have in September, but ultimately they’re not going to make a big impact.

If the Pirates could get Snider on a minor league deal, and stash him away until September 1st when rosters expand, then it would make sense to bring him back. Otherwise they’d be adding him at a time where he doesn’t look like a significant upgrade to the bench, and at a time when the bench is already facing some upcoming cuts with the returns of Mercer and Harrison. The end result there is that they’d have Snider, but wouldn’t really have an actual upgrade to the bench.

Of course, one potential upside to adding Snider would be seeing Snider, Brad Lincoln, Stephen Tarpley, and Steven Brault in the same organization at the same time.

  • I have written before why the Snider trade was bad in the short-term (but only if you like winning), so I won’t go into it again, but his value to the Pirates this year would have been in improving over their truly horrible backup OF performance spread out over ~ 6 players.

    He could be an improvement over Ishikawa, but he also could founder. I think the suggested AAA deal would be a good move for the Bucs.

  • I think Morse goes when Harrison returns. Morse will clear waivers. Ishikawa is the only LHB off the bench.

  • They are going to need 25 man roster spots if Mercer and Harrison are activated before September 1. I could see Florimon and Ishikawa as those two players and Snider comes up on Sept 1 as the lefthanded hitting bench depth, if he signs as an milb FA now. We are set with Alvarez, Morse, Rodriguez and now Ramirez at 1B and Snider is better OF depth than Ishi

  • Bring him back, he makes the big team better.

  • Why?

  • Of course, one potential upside to adding Snider would be seeing Snider,
    Brad Lincoln, Stephen Tarpley, and Steven Brault in the same
    organization at the same time.

    That is truly amazing!

    • Honestly, nice work by Neal. I actually did like it from the beginning. -1 each for Smizik, Sawchik and Kovacevic. I think Tim had that one right from go.

  • So, we trade Lincoln for Snider…Snider for Tarpley and Brault…and we’re about to have all four in the system? Funny how that works.

  • One red paper clip…

  • Hey, Jayson Nix?!? It’s Neal. We’re getting the band back together.

  • Not that it should or will matter but getting Lunchbox back would be a very popular move in the clubhouse.

  • I suspected the Pirates would be interested. I am surprised they haven’t been connected to Snider sooner then now.

    • Bob: He was at a place last year for the Pirates that no longer exists – is he willing to give up his dream of having a chance to be a starting OF for some team? Tough decision to make. I would say that if the O’s want nothing more than a bag-o-balls, and nobody else has offered at him, the Pirates could be interested.

      • I believe the Orioles released him, so they don’t even have to trade a bag-o-balls for him.