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Snyder released, roster down to 33

Mar 24, 2014, 9:08 PM EST


VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals released veteran catcher Chris Snyder on Monday night, a move that pared their spring training roster down to 33 players with only three days remaining in camp.

Snyder, 33, signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals over the winter, hoping to compete for the backup job to Wilson Ramos and hoping his veteran status would give him an edge over Jhonatan Solano and Sandy Leon.

But once the Nationals traded for the Rays’ Jose Lobaton on the day pitchers and catchers reported for spring training, Snyder’s chances of making the Opening Day roster went from slim to nonexistent.

Snyder appeared in 12 Grapefruit League games, going 5-for-17 with a homer and five RBI. He was permitted to opt out of his contract on Thursday if he hadn’t yet been placed on the big-league roster, but the Nationals went ahead and released him now, offering him more time to sign with another club.

With less than 72 hours until the team breaks camp and heads north, here’s how the Nationals’ spring roster stands…

Stephen Strasburg
Gio Gonzalez
Jordan Zimmermann
Doug Fister
Tanner Roark
Taylor Jordan
Chris Young*

Rafael Soriano
Drew Storen
Tyler Clippard
Craig Stammen
Ross Detwiler
Jerry Blevins
Ryan Mattheus
Aaron Barrett
Xavier Cedeno
Michael Gonzalez*

Wilson Ramos
Jose Lobaton
Sandy Leon

Adam LaRoche
Anthony Rendon
Ian Desmond
Ryan Zimmerman
Danny Espinosa
Tyler Moore
Jamey Carroll*
Jeff Kobernus

Bryce Harper
Denard Span
Jayson Werth
Nate McLouth
Scott Hairston

* – Minor-league contract, not currently on 40-man roster

  1. ehay2k - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    Hmm… maybe these are the 25 that go north? (gulp, slam!)

    Stephen Strasburg
    Gio Gonzalez
    Jordan Zimmermann
    Doug Fister
    Tanner Roark

    Taylor Jordan – AAA
    Chris Young – released/sent down/opts out

    Rafael Soriano
    Drew Storen
    Tyler Clippard
    Craig Stammen
    Ross Detwiler
    Jerry Blevins
    Aaron Barrett

    Ryan Mattheus – 15 day DL to build up arm
    Xavier Cedeno – released/sent down/opts out
    Michael Gonzalez- released/sent down/opts out

    CATCHERS (2)
    Wilson Ramos
    Jose Lobaton

    Sandy Leon – AAA

    Adam LaRoche
    Anthony Rendon
    Ian Desmond
    Ryan Zimmerman
    Danny Espinosa
    Jamey Carroll

    Jeff Kobernus – AAA
    Tyler Moore – AAA

    Bryce Harper
    Denard Span
    Jayson Werth
    Nate McLouth
    Scott Hairston

    Jordan needs to pitch in AAA, and learn to hide the ball, or the scouts will find a way to beat him. I’m thinking TyMo and Kobernus need playing time and at bats, and there is no place for TyMo at 1b right now or in the future. He may get traded. Carroll is what he is, but he is reliable – knowing what you will get, even if it’s mediocre, is better than hoping the guys with high ceilings don’t screw up. Hairston is getting paid and we can release him later if he can’t perform. And, while any team can improve, this is, to me anyway, the best 25 we have ever brought to DC.

    • Sonny G 10 - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:32 PM

      Not a bad prediction, ehay2k.

    • sjm308 - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:43 PM

      I like your 25 and your logic, and I also think we still get to keep Cedeno. I am pretty sure he has options and is on the 40 man roster so he won’t have to pass through waivers. I would love to see Barrett make this team and I think pitching on back to back days is a clear sign they are very interested in keeping him with the big club.

      I am guessing that Snyder and Young will both be picked up (especially Young) but if not, there is a strong chance both would come back to Syracuse. I think Rizzo and the Nationals have treated all the veterans we have signed with respect and that has to play a role. Of course a major league deal is far superior and I think both will be on a first or third base line during team introductions with fans going “who is that?”

      Who is going off the 40 man if Carroll indeed does make the squad? My guess is Eury Perez. I think Carroll gives us something that is hard to find. Not comparing him exactly with DeRosa but he has to be a great influence in the clubhouse.

      Go Nats!!

      • David Proctor - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:50 PM

        If we have to DFA someone, my guess is Jhonaton Solano. Leon has higher upside and is a few years younger. We don’t need 4 catchers on the 40 man.

      • Eric - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        I regularly think of DeRosa when reading about Carroll… Not sure why. I know next to nothing about either of their careers, I just have the sense Carroll could play a similar role in the clubhouse. A grounding, veteran player to help keep things on an even keel.

      • Kenz aFan - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:27 PM

        David, I would think that having 4 catchers on the 40-Man Roster is more important than having 10 outfielders, as they have currently. Eury Perez could be a DFA option as well, especially with Goodwin in the wings.

    • TimDz - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:07 PM

      Nice prognostications….

      +1 on the analysis…

      • sjm308 - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:17 PM

        David, Solano probably does make more sense and yet if we have injuries at catcher & lord knows we have had that happen, it might be good to have them both there. Was that last year or the year before when both Solano and Leon played in major league games?

      • nats128 - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:37 PM

        sjm, that happened when both Ramos and Flores got injured and then Leon got injured. That was in 2012. Nats went thru 6 catchers including Maldando and Solano and then acquired Suzuki.

        I think Rizzo has a long enough memory not to release Solano just yet.

    • mauimo22 - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:42 PM

      Well presented and thought-out, thanks for writing this up.

    • rfkcheapseats - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      Longtime follower of Natsinsider here, but I’ve never posted before. I’d like to get into all of the insightful commentary on this site if you don’t mind!

      I like your picks ehay, but I don’t know about Carroll, alot of people seem to put a large emphasis on the importance of “veteran leadership” but I think thats the only reason Carroll is still around and I don’t think that is a reason to keep him around. Veteran leader type bench guys are important for a young inexperienced teams like the Astros (Ankiel last year) and Blue Jays (Derosa). The Nats have moved beyond the point of needing a guy like Carroll because the core group have been battle-tested and aren’t that young anymore. With the emergence of Werth, Desmond, RZ, and Laroche the Nats already have a club-house culture and hiearchy established. Besides they have Matt Williams as manager.

      Mclouth and Hairston get most of the pinch-hits anyway because thats who you are paying. I’d actually want to see Kobe in that last spot because of his speed. With two pinch-hitters ahead of him on the goon squad, speed, and not pinch-hit ability, is the best way to use the last roster spot in my inexpert opinion.

      Wooooh!!!! First post!!!

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:41 AM

        Well said, Mr. Seats. Welcome to the bottom half of the page!

  2. Sonny G 10 - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Eight more to be eliminated on way or another. Getting close to the 25 going north.

  3. Theophilus T.S. - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    Young will be traded by Thursday. Given Soriano and Storen’s uninspiring performances in FL, the Nats are likely to need a RH RP in the back end of the BP (Barrett over Mattheus, who won’t be ready before mid-May at the earliest) than they “need” either Cedeno or M. Gonzalez. (I don’t think they really need either of those guys in any set of circumstances.) I think the odds on Carroll being DFA’d (much as I like him) before the end of June are about 60 percent, of Hairston by the end of July about 70 percent.

    The Nats are not completely without depth at catcher. They sent Hill back to minor league camp — didn’t release him. What they don’t have is someone capable of filling in for Ramos for more than a couple of weeks.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      Hill got traded last week.

      • nats128 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        Theophilus T.S. said “The Nats are not completely without depth at catcher. They sent Hill back to minor league camp — didn’t release him. What they don’t have is someone capable of filling in for Ramos for more than a couple of weeks.”

        Lobaton is the capable backup to Ramos and Leon is the #3 if ever needed. True Natinalsgo on Koyie Hill.

  4. thelatencn - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    I love Barrett. Whether he’s in Washington or Syracuse, he’s our insurance policy in case either Soriano or Storen goes over the cliff.

  5. Drew - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    While watching the Nats pare their roster, keep an eye on A’s camp. The Mercer kid is still in the hunt.

    Who would have imagined that the second big leaguer from the Nats’ storied 2011 draft might be not Alex Meyer, Brian Goodwin, Matt Purke or Matt Skole … but fleet Billy Burns!

    • Joe Seamhead - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:17 AM

      Who, indeed?

  6. Sonny G 10 - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    Hey, Eugene in Oregon, sweet sixteen, baby!!!

  7. cayucosbaseballconservancy - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:34 AM

    Perhaps someone should add the curly w live blog to the right side gutter blog roll?

    Amanda still puts out a quality update (along with Mark Lerner and some shameless Nat’s ads) unfortunately
    I guess she can no longer voice strong opinions …

    Oddly enough the MLB based Nationals page almost always obscures all the blogs but Ladson’s. And he barely posts now reserving all of his insider tid bits for twitter.

    How about bringing Amanda Comack back into the light?

    • sjm308 - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:47 AM

      Amanda still is a good read.

      I don’t know what I pushed or clicked but I actually get her stories sent to me on my email which is nice.

      I do agree that she probably has to toe the line a little more but she is a talent. I really liked her with Mark & Chase on those videos last year.

      Go Nats!! Hey Peric

  8. nats128 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:28 AM

    With Michael Bourn going on the DL for the Indians it looks like Nyjer Morgan makes the Indians team.

    Atlanta Braves sign Aaron Harang after Freddy Garcia opts out of his deal.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:13 AM

      Nyjer back in the US!

      Talk about a clubhouse cancer lets see if the Indians retain him after Bourn returns.

  9. ehay2k - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    Update: looks like Rizzo has someone interested in Young. So, he could send Jordan and Roark down, put Young on the 25 so he doesn’t opt out, make the deal, then bring Roark back up. A lot of gyrations but if it gets us something for nothing, it’s worth it. Even the threat of it may make the deal happen.

    Just pondering over my cup of Joe this AM.

    • nats128 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      CYoung adds depth and with his improved health, veteran status and low salary he could make a good #5 any way. This is almost the exact scenario NatinalsGo (aka Gonat) via Ghost laid out yesterday morning.

      Some teams want to scoop him up via a vulture deal where you wait for him to opt out and become a Free Agent and the only problem with that is CYoung will probably demand more money then he did when the Nats took him plus you compete against more teams. This is what the Braves did with Harang and not sure if they got anything special.

  10. nats128 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    Rendon back in the starting lineup today FYI

  11. nats128 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    This tidbit from Mark:

    Mark Zuckerman @ZuckermanCSN
    Looks like Doug Fister’s next start will actually be in minor league game Thursday. Jordan Zimmermann starting that day vs Mets.

    • tcostant - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      Since Doug Fister’s next start will actually be in minor league game Thursday.

      Since this a MINOR league spring game Thursday, they can back date a DL stint to last Saturday (his last Major League Game) and he can come off the DL to pitch Sunday the 6th. I’m sure this what they are thinking by pitching him in a minor league game.

      • tcostant - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:03 AM

        And because of this spot, Aaron Barrett make the team out of camp. That what I think.

      • nats128 - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:26 AM

        Great point!

      • natinalsgo - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        MLB rules don’t allow you to backdate a DL more than 5 days into Spring Training so this move is probably just lower stress and let him work on Minor Leaguers.

      • nats128 - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM

        Thanks Natinalsgonat, that still picks up 2 extra days by keeping in a Minor League vs a MLB game but you cant backdate Tcosant to last Saturday. Good thought though.

        Earliest if the Nats DL him would be April 10th I believe on a 15 day DL.

  12. nats128 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Span 8, Rendon 4, Werth 9, Zimmerman 5, Harper 7, Desmond 6, LaRoche 3, Lobaton 2, Strasburg 1.

    If you insert Ramos this looks like the OD starters and I like Desmond back in the #6. While I dont like Harper in the #5 I think this still works. You are still putting Harper and ALR as 2 lefties only separated by 1 righty. I thought the whole roster formation was to spread them out. With 3 lefties, the math doesnt work in spreading them out more which is why Harp vs RHPs needs to bat #4 or #3 or as some people say just do it #2.

    • Candide - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      Rendon batting #2 seems to me to be as obvious as observing that water is wet. He makes contact, knows the strike zone, and has some power to drive a guy in from first base.

      If it’s obvious to me, there has to be a flaw in the reasoning somewhere. Someone please enlighten me.

      • Hiram Hover - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:49 AM

        Rendon has a good eye and a good swing, but I think folks are overestimating what an OBP power he is at this point in his very young career.

        Last year, he was 6th in OBP among our regulars-even Desi was 2 pts higher.

        Let Rendon bat lower in the order and develop some more, then move him up as appropriate–#2 or even potentially #1 someday.

      • nats128 - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:52 AM

        I agree with HH. Hes a work in progress and will get to be the player you describe Candide. Certainly better than Desi in that spot in my opinion if Werth wont bat #2.

        I still like Span, Werth, Harp vs RHPs

  13. jd - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    If Harper starts the season as no.5 I think that’s a pretty big mistake. I consider Harper to be the best hitter on the team and as such he should always hit in the 1st inning and come up as often as possible.

    • nats128 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      If Span leads off, where do you bat Harper in your order JD?

    • natinalsgo - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:55 AM

      I’m curious to see your order against both righties and lefties.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM

      Agree with that. Harper needs to be at the plate as much as possible. actually i want the whole team to get as many at bats as they can! five per game each! :)

      • nats128 - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:01 AM


  14. jd - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Span, Werth, Harper, Zim. Ramos, Desmond, LaRoche, Rendon – Against both.

    It’s not ideal because LaRoche is hitting 7th (because the others are better hitters). Also I have no problem batting Rendon 2nd, in that case I bat Werth 5th and I slide everyone else down.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      wow why demote desmond? what did he do? What you hope ramos does, desi is already doing it at #5, no?

      • janebeard - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        Faraz, I think the numbers show Desi hits best in the 6 hole.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        depends which numbers you are looking at.

    • Section 222 - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:39 AM

      +1 on this lineup. Maybe bat Desi ahead of Ramos to put his speed on base to be driven in by
      Ramos’s power. Totally agree that batting Harper 5th is not using his ability to its fullest advantage. If Werth pouts about batting second, you could switch him and Zim too.

      • Hiram Hover - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        Agree – I like Werth better in the 2 spot than Zim – Werth has a higher OBP, and is better on the basepaths than Zim. But Zim would be ok too.

      • Section 222 - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:54 AM

        Right. Good bat control too for hitting behind the runner, though Zim is a natural opposite field hitter. But mainly, Zim, Werth, and Harper should be in the 2,3, and 4 spots in some combination.

      • nats128 - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

        I like that lineup alot except Desi #5 and Ramos #6. I think Werth needs to suck it up and bat #2.

  15. thelatencn - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    My 2 cents one more time: 1. Span (obvious). 2. Zim (because he did so well in that spot last Aug-Sept). 3. Harper (that’s where your best hitter – and in this case MVP candidate, I think – should hit). 4. Werth (best protection for Harper). 5. Desi (incumbent advantage vs Ramos). 6. Ramos (could move up later in season if he has monster year, which he well may). 7. LAR (best spreadding of lefties). 8. Rendon (did well there last year).
    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    • snerdblurter - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      i like this, but also wouldn’t mind flipping zimm and werth….. i get all warm and fuzzy inside thinking about 10-pitch walks from Werth in the 2-hole with Harper on deck chomping at the bit. 6 days to go!

      • NatsNut - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:05 AM


  16. Section 222 - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    On the final roster, Barrett and Carroll are not on the 40 man. Not sure how that will be handled, but there are definitely some decisions ahead. Fister on the DL to start the season is very appealing. He can be brought up to start on April 6 or April 12, depending on when he’s ready. And his spot, either from March 31 to April 5, or April 7-11, can be used for an extra reliever or bench player.

    I’m guessing that Carroll survives that Ty-Mo is sent down, Roark is the 5th starter, and Mike G starts the year in the pen, and on a short leash. But I won’t be surprised by any other results.

    • DaveB - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      Barrett is on the 40 man

      • Section 222 - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:18 AM

        Right you are. My mistake. Bring him up!

    • Eric - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      According to the new post, season-starting DL can only be backdated 5 days, so 4/10 would be the earliest he could return if he goes on the 15 day to start the season.

  17. jd - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:54 AM


    The 40 man roster can be maneuvered. Eury Perez might be done with us. Solano?
    I am not so sure there is much benefit for TyMo or the team in having him go back to AAA. He’s been there and done that. I think TyMo needs an opportunity to find another club where he can get regular playing time either at 1st base or as a DH.

    I think Roark as the 5th starter is reasonable and I’m not so sure Barrett won’t start the season at AAA. I don’t see where Mike G brings much to the table.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      So if our starting 1B is out for extended time, who starts at 1B? Zimmerman with Rendon at 3rd and Espi at 2nd? Isn’t Moore a better answer?

      • sjm308 - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        If LaRoche is injured, you move him to the dl and bring up Moore

        Not difficult

      • Faraz Shaikh - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:26 PM

        wait, did I misread jd’s comment? I thought he suggested we trade him, no?

  18. Section 222 - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    That’s why I said MGon on a short leash. He can’t be sent down, so use him until he falters, then dump him and bring someone else up. But that was before I realized that Barrett is already on the 40 man. He seems to have earned that last spot in our bullpen. I won’t cry even crocodile tears if MGon is gone.

    On Fister, if April 10 is the earliest day he can be brought back from the 15 day DL, that works perfectly for making his first start April 12, assuming he’s ready, and letting the loser of the 5th starter competition start on April 6. I suggested that several days ago and still think it’s a good idea to be very careful with Fister, especially since our No. 5 and No. 6 starters are so evenly matched. Heck, Rizzo and Williams could even make the decision on who will be the 5th starter after April 6, and let Roark and Jordan each make a regular season start before making the call.





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