The Boston Red Sox may have won their first game of the 2013 season, but they are always looking to improve. Keeping with that philosophy, the team signed free-agent infielder Brandon Snyder on Tuesday to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Pawtucket.

The story was first reported in a tweet by’s Chris Cotillo:

The Providence Journal’s Brian MacPherson confirmed the signing in a subsequent tweet:

The 26-year-old Snyder is a right-handed hitter who plays both first base and third base and even has some experience in the outfield.

He was the 13th-overall selection in the 2005 draft by the Baltimore Orioles out of high school. He began his career as a catcher but converted to infield in 2007.

In 727 career minor league games, he has a combined .275 batting average with 74 home runs and 425 RBIs.

He debuted with the Orioles in 2010, playing in 10 games that season and appeared in an additional six games in 2011.

Most recently, he played for the Texas Rangers last year, appearing in 40 games and hitting .277 with three home runs and nine RBI in 65 at-bats.

During his three major league seasons, he has a .276 batting average with three home runs and 13 RBI in 98 at-bats.

When it became apparent to Snyder that he would not make the Rangers out of spring training this year, he requested and was granted his unconditional release, allowing him to sign with the Red Sox.

He explained to MacPherson that he decided to leave Texas because, “Being with the Rangers, they were so packed up with guys. There were a lot of guys they needed to look at. I was just really looking for the opportunity to play, to get a chance to get a change of scenery.”

Snyder already has some familiarity with the Boston organization. His cousin, pitcher Madison Younginer, was drafted by the Red Sox in 2009 and is about to enter his fourth season in their minor league system.

Although Snyder will start the year in the minors, he’s now the team’s top option if it needs another player at one of the corner infield positions. He essentially replaces Mauro Gomez, who was designated for assignment prior to Opening Day.

The signing of Snyder gives the Red Sox another insurance policy in the event of injuries or other unforeseen circumstances. It’s unclear if he will play in Boston this season, but his versatility and experience make him a valuable addition.

Statistics via Baseball-Reference

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