Astros decline option on Chris Snyder

Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

Veteran catcher becomes free agent after getting $500,000 buyout

Chris Snyder is no longer part of his hometown club, after the Houston Astros declined the backup catcher's option. The 31-year-old veteran will become a free agent.

Snyder and the team had a $4 million mutual option, but the Astros will instead pay him a $500,000 buyout. Snyder was brought in last year as a backup to the young Jason Castro.

Castro came into his own in 2012, with Snyder and Carlos Corporan as backups. Snyder played in 76 games, batting .176 with seven home runs and 24 RBI in 258 plate appearances. However, Corporan also gained traction as a solid candidate as a backup to Castro. He hit .269 with 13 RBI and four homers in 27 games last year but spent most of 2012 in Triple-A.

"We like the job Corporan did, and certainly he'll get a chance to come to camp and compete as the backup to Castro," Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow said to MLB.com. However, he is also willing to explore other options.

"It'd be good to add someone else just for experience and competition," Luhnow told the Houston Chronicle.

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