Orioles acquire Snider in trade with Pirates

Outfielder joins Baltimore outfield; lefty prospect Tarpley to Pittsburgh

Orioles acquire Snider in trade with Pirates

The Orioles, who have lost Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz to free agency during a mostly quiet offseason, moved to bolster their outfield by acquiring Travis Snider from the Pirates on Tuesday night. Left-handed pitching prospect Stephen Tarpley was sent to Pittsburgh in the deal, which also includes a player to be named.

Snider, a left-handed hitter who turns 27 next week, is coming off his best season in the Major Leagues. In 140 games for the Bucs, he hit .264/.338/.438 with 13 home runs and a career-high 38 RBIs.

"Snider is a solid dependable power-hitting outfielder and is an excellent fit for Camden Yards," Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said. "[He] should be a good addition to the club at bat and in the field."

A club that ran away with the American League East last season had seen its outfield depleted since falling to the Royals in the AL Championship Series. Markakis, once a franchise cornerstone, signed a four-year, $44 million contract with the Braves. Cruz inked a four-year, $57 million deal with the Mariners after smacking an MLB-best 40 homers during his only season in Baltimore.

Snider is set to make $2.1 million this season, then he has one more year of arbitration eligibility remaining before he is due to reach free agency.

The O's had been linked to various outfielders throughout the offseason, but no deals came to fruition beyond re-signing Delmon Young for one year. Free agents such as Nori Aoki and Colby Rasmus signed elsewhere, while big bats such as Matt Kemp and Justin Upton were dealt to other clubs.

Snider has split time between left and right field, and he now joins a corner-outfield mix that also includes Alejandro De Aza, David Lough, Steve Pearce and Young. De Aza and Lough are also left-handed batters, as is Chris Parmelee, who was signed to a Minor League deal on Monday.

"Looking forward to joining a winning organization and earning whatever is given," Snider tweeted after the trade was finalized. "Always loved the city. New chapter starts today! @orioles."

In Snider, the Orioles get a player who is plenty familiar with the AL East. He was the Blue Jays' first-round pick (14th overall) in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft and debuted for Toronto two years later before being traded to Pittsburgh before the 2012 Trade Deadline. Over seven big league seasons, Snider owns a batting line of .246/.310/.406.

Last season, Snider did his greatest damage against southpaws, going 16-for-42 (.381) with two homers and a 1.054 OPS. However, his splits are relatively even over the course of his career, with a .720 OPS against righties and .698 against lefties.

Tarpley, who turns 22 on Feb. 17, ranked as the O's No. 14 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. A third-round selection in the '13 Draft, Tarpley pitched 13 games (12 starts) for Class A Aberdeen last season, going 3-5 with a 3.68 ERA, 24 walks and 60 strikeouts over 66 innings.

To make room for Snider on the 40-man roster, catcher Michael Ohlman was designated for assignment. The 24-year-old was the Orioles' 11th-round pick in 2009 and ranked as the organization's No. 10 prospect. But Ohlman struggled with the bat for Double-A Bowie in '14, his sixth professional season, hitting .236/.310/.318 with two homers and 33 RBIs over 113 games.

That move leaves Baltimore with three catchers on the roster: Matt Wieters, Caleb Joseph and Steve Clevenger.

Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.