The Mariners announced today they claimed RHP Collin Snider off waivers from the Diamondbacks. Snider was drafted by the Royals in 2017 and spent his whole career with that organization before being DFA’d this December. The DBacks claimed him, only to DFA him again to make room for Joc Pederson, at which point the Mariners pounced. The Mariners’ 40-man roster is now full.
After debuting for the Royals in 2022, Snider (no relation to Mill Creek baseball legend Travis) spent most of his career ping-ponging between the bigs and Triple-A Omaha. Snider has a lot of favorable qualities—he throws a starter’s complement of pitches, his fastball (both the four-seamer and the sinker) sits around the mid-90s, and he induces a boatload of ground balls while limiting hard contact and barrels. But his results so far don’t reflect all those good things: he doesn’t strike a lot of guys out, as you’d expect with a ground-ball specialist, and he also doesn’t get a lot of whiffs or chases, which has led to inflated walk rates. This marks yet another addition of a pitcher who’s struggled to throw strikes, something that seems like it would be anathema to the emphasis on controlling the zone the organization has preached for years. Is this a reflection of what’s available on the market, a shift in philosophy, or do the Mariners see something they can adjust with Snider, as well as the other shaky-command pitchers they’ve added this off-season?
One thing that might have attracted the Mariners to Snider is the data on his pitches, if not the results. Snider gets a ton of run on his sinker and slider in opposite directions, and the sinker has more ride than expected. Snider has also been putting in work this off-season at Tread Athletics further refining the location and shape of his sinker.
The 28-year-old Snider has an option remaining, so other than him occupying a 40-man spot, the Mariners have some flexibility in how to deploy him. He’ll compete for a spot in the Mariners bullpen this spring in a position battle that’s becoming more interesting by the day.