The Arizona Diamondbacks and Triple-A affiliate Reno Aces signed 30-year-old outfielder Travis Snider to a 1-year minor league contract Wednesday. With the left and center field jobs wide open, Snider — a former first-round pick — will look to compete for a spot on the Dbacks’ 25-man roster in spring training.
Snider and Aces’ fan favorite Cody Decker played together as members of the Omaha Storm Chasers and Las Vegas 51s during the 2016-17 seasons, minor league affiliates of the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets. Snider elected for free agency in 2017 and did not play at all in 2018.
Former Dbacks’ center fielder A.J. Pollock is testing the open market this offseason. Pollock’s potential departure leaves Arizona searching for two outfield replacements via free agency or by dipping into their minor league farm system.
A first-round pick in the 2006 MLB Draft, Snider, 30, has played eight years in the majors as a left and right fielder. He occasionally filled in as a designated hitter during his four-year stint with the Toronto Blue Jays. Snider has a career .244 batting average with 54 homers and 212 RBIs in 630 games with the Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles.
Snider makes up for average power with a smooth swing and above-average contact at the plate to go along with a quick glove in the outfield. Snider totaled 161 extra base-hits and .983 fielding percentage in both outfield spots in his eight years.
Snider is among seven players invited to spring training with minor league contracts. Former Giants infielder Kelby Tomlinson, Rob Refsnyder, Andrew Aplin, 2016 World Series champion Matt Szczur, Abraham Almonte, Tyler Heineman and Wyatt Mathisen, each who signed minor league contracts with the Dbacks’ and were assigned to the Aces this offseason.
The Aces will make their open their 2019 regular season campaign April 4 against the defending Pacific Northern Division champion Fresno Grizzlies. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report around Feb. 12 or 13.