When the Orioles acquired Mark Reynolds and Derrek Lee last offseason and then traded for Chris Davis in July, first baseman Brandon Snyder knew his opportunities in Baltimore were shrinking. So when the former first rounder – Snyder received a $1.7 million bonus as the 13th overall pick in 2005 – was traded on Tuesday to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations, it wasn't a shock.
The news was met with some mixed emotions by Snyder, who battled injuries and position changes while climbing the minor league ladder but never really pushed his way to an extended look in Baltimore.
"Of course every time you are with someone or do something at all for seven years, you get a connection to it. So it is a bittersweet thing. It's very bitter in that it was seven years with some great people, some of the guys in my wedding played for the Orioles," he said. "But it is also very sweet in that I'll get another opportunity to play and in front of new eyes and get a fresh start almost. Lately, it had been stagnant with the Orioles, I am not sure there were a lot of opportunities left for me there. So I am excited about a new chapter."
When asked to describe his thoughts when he first heard he had been traded, Snyder, who grew up in Centreville, Va., said: "It's kind of weird. You always wonder what it is going to be like because it is rare to finish a career where you started. But being so close to home, in Baltimore and in Norfolk, I didn't know how it would feel. But actually I am really happy, really excited. And the reason behind being so excited is that it feels like this is the best thing for me and my family and the best chance for me to get an opportunity."
Snyder wasn’t wistful or bitter about his career in Baltimore not working out.
"It's just one of those things and now it is a chance to play somewhere else. It's definitely a good thing."
And it's an opportunity with an organization that has made it to the World Series in consecutive seasons. Snyder played Arizona Fall League home games at the Rangers' spring training facility in Surprise, Ariz., in 2008, feels he has a good sense of that organization.
Plus, if there's one position that the powerful Rangers aren't completely set at, it's first base, where Mitch Moreland, Michael Young, Mike Napoli and current Oriole Chris Davis split time in 2011.
"I had a chance to play in Surprise a couple years back and it is a great organization with great facilities, a great ballclub – and that's not to say the Orioles were not a great organization, by any means," he said. "But I get to go to another great organization and I cannot be more excited than I am right now. I am extremely happy."