Red Sox sign Brandon Snyder, send him to Triple-A

Rick Yeatts

Boston finds some more first base depth for the minors in the recently released Snyder

The Red Sox, fresh off their Opening Day victory in New York and just one more day removed from designating Mauro Gomez from assignment, have added a new piece of depth to the Pawtucket Red Sox. Brandon Snyder, released by the Rangers last week, has been signed to a minor-league deal.

Snyder was a first-round draft pick back in 2005 for the Orioles, but just never hit in the minors as much as Baltimore hoped he would. While he was five times in the Orioles' top-10 prospects via Baseball America, peaking at six, he finished the 2010 season ranked at 20.

The right-handed Snyder has spent most of his time at first base, but has also played 64 games at the hot corner, and has even caught 79 games. The last of those -- and it was just the one -- came in 2011, while the rest came back in 2005 and 2006, so don't expect the Red Sox to be utilizing him there, even if it's where his bat makes sense.

Snyder is a career .256/.314/.394 hitter in nearly 1,300 plate appearances at Triple-A, with slightly better numbers (.276/.324/.418) at the big-league level in 56 games there. He is very likely just minor-league depth, and depth with no everyday real place to play, either, given the construction of Pawtucket's roster.

If Mauro Gomez isn't claimed by another team, he'll be around for 2013 and off of the 40-man, as will Mark Hamilton. Both of those players make sense in the first base spot. Then there's Alex Hassan, who very well might be spending time at designated hitter if he's pushed out of the outfield scene, and Ryan Lavarnway is likely going to need to slot in at DH when he isn't catching.

That being said, Snyder is just 26, and maybe the Pawtucket coaches can reach him where others have failed. If not, he's just meant to be depth in the minors anyway: anything else is extra.

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