The Kansas City Royals have agreed to terms on a minor league deal with veteran outfielder Travis Snider, according to a club announcement on Saturday afternoon.
The deal includes an invite to Major League spring training where the 27-year-old will have a chance to work in the outfield as he looks to join the club on Opening Day as an everyday starter.
The news comes after he elected to become a free agent in late October after spending the 2015 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
It was a disappointing season for Snider who was released by the Baltimore Orioles in August due to a poor showing. This landed him back out on the market where the Pirates decided to pick him up to see what he could do. This being said, he ended up hitting .232/.313/.350 alongside four home runs and eight RBIs in 87 games played.
For his career, Snider owns a slashline of .244/.311/.399 and could provide a good left-handed bat off the bench if not out on an everyday basis. As Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports notes, Snider is one of the higher-upside players to sign a minor league deal this offseason, however, there might be a limited amount of time for that to come across to the organization's front office.
Snider was a former first round draft pick (14th overall) of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2006 Amateur Draft. He signed with the club on June 18 of that season and made his MLB debut two years later against the New York Yankees on August 29.
Over the course of five seasons with the Blue Jays, he hit just 31 home runs. His best season came with Pittsburgh in 2014, when he hit .264 with 13 homers and 38 RBIs.
As noted by MLBTradeRumors, the World Series champion Royals will have an open competition for the right field job this spring with Jarrod Dyson and Paulo Orlando leading the race for front-runners to platoon the position.
This addition adds more outfield depth as he will be another competitor in Spring Training as he looks to start for the first time since leaving Toronto where he replaced his former teammate Alex Rios.
Heading into spring training, the club is expected to bring along Reymond Fuentes, Brett Eibner, Jorge Bonifacio, Terrance Gore and former first-round pick Bubba Starling from Triple-A Omaha.
Looking back on Snider's past, he has been named as a top six prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. He was also named a top prospect in the Blue Jays system as fans were awaiting the call to see what he had to offer.
It is said that Snider will most likely end up as a reserve outfielder himself since he has never made more than 400 plate appearances in a season.