The Washington Times - February 5, 2013, 02:25PM

The Nationals added some more insurance to their catching corps on Tuesday, signing nine-year major league veteran Chris Snyder to a minor league deal with an invite to major league spring training. 

Snyder, who spent 2012 with the Houston Astros hitting .176 with seven homers in 76 games, gives the Nationals their sixth catcher in major league camp and an additional safety net in the event that Wilson Ramos is not healthy enough to begin the season.


Ramos, who is recovering from surgery to repair his right anterior cruciate ligament as well as his meniscus, has not had any setbacks of note in his rehab and is expected to be able to fully participate in spring training, but the Nationals are taking an extra precaution in the event that he is not ready.

The Nationals also have Jhonatan Solano and Sandy Leon on the 40-man roster, and both got major league experience in 2012 when a rash of injuries ran through the catching corps. But in an ideal world, they’d allow at least Leon more time to develop in the minors and Snyder gives them a good deal of major league experience that could be valuable for a backup.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was also part of the Diamondbacks organization when they drafted Snyder in 2002. 

At the outset, it’s expected that Kurt Suzuki will serve as the Nationals’ everyday catcher with, if he’s healthy, Ramos working into the rotation on a lighter workload. The Nationals expect that by the end of the season, if all goes well, Ramos will be back to being able to shoulder the load of the everyday role. 

– The Nationals also signed right-hander Jeremy Accardo to a minor league deal with an invitation to major league spring training on Tuesday. Accardo, a veteran reliever, pitched for the A’s and the Indians in 2012, working to a 4.82 ERA in 37 1/3 innings.