Snider on joining the Orioles

BALTIMORE— Travis Snider will be the first to admit parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues has been a learning experience.

“Early in my career I was young and immature, there were a lot of things in baseball I wasn’t able to process,” Snider said in a conference call Friday. “I allowed the distractions to take away from the focus of getting better every single day.”

Snider, once a top prospect in the Toronto Blue Jays system, called the trade to Pittsburgh prior to the 2012 Trade Deadline a great opportunity for a fresh start. And coming off a strong second half of ’14, Snider will get another clean slate in Baltimore, who traded for the 26-year-old outfielder on Tuesday night.

“We liked Travis going back to the end of the season and we had some discussions with Pittsburgh at the Winter Meetings and almost consummated a trade at that point,” said executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, who got the deal done by sending left-handed pitching prospect Stephen Tarpley and a player to be named later to Pittsburgh. “I have always liked Travis for our ball club and our ballpark, I think his work ethic is very good and he fits in very good with the lunch pail, next man up mentality that the Orioles have.”

“This is the right time in his career to really have a good season.”

Lunchbox is the first part of Snider’s Twitter name, a nickname he got in high school and one that resonates with him growing up in a blue-collar house where his father worked two jobs to help Snider make it to where he is now. Snider said he’s learned to not get caught up in the first few weeks of the season, but rather keep his head down, work hard and see where he’s at when all is said and done.

“I’ve always had a lot of respect for the young core they have been building here in Baltimore and to be a part of that now is exciting,” he said. “I’m very confident and very excited to be part of a winning group of guys in a league that I’m familiar with.”

Snider, a left-handed hitter, is coming off his best season yet, hitting 264/.338/.438 with 13 home runs and a career-high 38 RBIs in 140 games for the Bucs. He is a career .146/.204/.208 hitter at Camden Yards (7-for-48) with three doubles and four RBIs and is considered an excellent defender in the corner outfield spots.

While his exact role is still undetermined, Snider gives the Orioles what they’ve needed all offseason: a left-handed hitting outfielder with some power and a good glove. He said Friday he’s served a myriad of roles in the big leagues -platoon, regular and bench player— and had “sharped all his tools” to do whatever the Orioles need most.

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