Snider headed to O’s in trade with Pirates

Outfielder Travis Snider is headed to Baltimore in exchange for left-handed pitching prospect Stephen Tarpley. The Pirates will also receive a player to be named later in the deal.

To make room on their 40-man roster, Baltimore designated catcher Michael Ohlman for assignment.

The two clubs reportedly discussed a deal involving Snider and Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz last month, but those talks apparently never gained enough traction. Instead, it’s Tarpley, who spent last season with low Class A Aberdeen, heading to Pittsburgh in the trade.

Snider, who turns 27 next week, had a breakout season of sorts last year, particularly after the All-Star break. He posted a .288/.356/.524 batting line with nine home runs and 24 RBIs in just 60 games during the season’s second half.

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

Despite Snider’s potential, there was a logjam blocking him from consistent playing time in Pittsburgh. The Pirates currently have Starling Marte and highly-touted prospect Gregory Polanco slated to man the corner outfield spots alongside perennial MVP threat Andrew McCutchen in center.

Meanwhile, acquring Snider helps Baltimore fill the void left by the departures this offseason of Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz. The O’s have been tied to a number of outfielders this offseason, both via free agency and potential trades, but hadn’t yet reeled in a replacement.

The 21-year-old Tarpley, who was a third-round pick in the 2013 Draft out of Scottsdale Community College, had a 3.68 ERA in 13 appearances last season (12 starts). He posted a 1.41 WHIP, while fanning 60 hitters in 66 innings.

— Paul Casella

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