Rangers Retain Ben Snyder In Trade With Giants

The Deal
The Rangers liked what they saw from major league Rule 5 pick Ben Snyder, but they just could not justify carving out room to carry him on the 25-man roster. He went unclaimed when Texas placed him on waivers with the intention of returning him to the Giants. But rather than buy back Snyder for $25,000, the Giants suggested a trade and identified 17-year-old, Rookie-ball lefty Edwin Escobar as sufficient bounty.

Snyder appeared in six spring games, working seven innings and giving up 12 hits (two home runs), two walks and three strikeouts. He ran up a 9.00 ERA. Immediately after acquiring him, Texas outrighted Snyder to Double-A Frisco, thus removing him from the 40-man roster. It's only the latest transaction in a whirlwind offseason for Snyder, who went from the Giants to the Orioles in December's Rule 5 draft. He lasted one day with Baltimore, which shipped him to Texas to complete their trade for Kevin Millwood.

At this time, the Rangers' deep stable of pitchers includes just one lefty reliever—the ageless Darren Oliver—on the active roster. Snyder could work himself into the big league bullpen mix if he pitches well. His chief competition will come from Zach Phillips and Clay Rapada, but only Phillips is currently on the 40-man.

Rangers Acquire
Ben Snyder, lhp
Age: 24.
Born: July 20, 1985 in Bellevue, Ohio.
Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 224. Bats: L. Throws: L.
School: Ball State.
Career Transactions: Selected by Giants in fourth round of 2006 draft; signed June 20, 2006 ... Selected by Orioles from Giants in Rule 5 major league draft, Dec. 10, 2009 ... Traded by Orioles to Rangers, Dec. 10, 2009, completing deal in which Rangers sent RHP Kevin Millwood and cash to Orioles for RHP Chris Ray and a player to be named (Dec. 9, 2009).

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Connecticut (EL) AA 4 4 2.88 34 5 1 97 82 35 31 4 38 86 1.24

Snyder blossomed after switching to a relief role in Double-A this year, holding lefthanded batters to a ridiculous .146/.198/.197 line over 157 at-bats. That includes a 57-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio and only one home run allowed. It was a different story for Snyder versus righthanders, who clubbed him for an .829 OPS. In shorter relief stints, Snyder sits in the low 90s and spins a quality curveball. His starting background means that he has more experience throwing a changeup than most relievers, but he won't need it much in what figures to be a left-on-left role. (Reprinted in part from earlier Trade Central review.)
Giants Acquire
Edwin Escobar, lhp
Age: 17.
Born: April 22, 1992 in La Buaera, Venezuela.
Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 185. Bats: L. Throws: L.
Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by Rangers, July 2, 2008.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Rangers (AZL) R 2 5 5.00 13 12 0 45 53 34 25 1 16 48 1.53

Hidden behind Escobar's 5.00 ERA and excessive number of baserunners lies a strong foundation. Consider his peripherals. While making his pro debut last season, Escobar struck out 9.6 and walked 3.2 batters per nine innings, while allowing only one home run in 12 starts. He pitches at 88-92 mph with some sink and has a fringy curveball that shows flashes of becoming something more than that. He's solidly built and already shows advanced feel for his age.

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