Pirates Designate Chase d’Arnaud For Assignment

The Pittsburgh Pirates have designated Chase d’Arnaud for assignment, according to Chris Cotillo.

The move clears room for Brent Morel, who was claimed off waivers from Toronto earlier today. The Pirates will have ten days to waive or trade d’Arnaud. If he clears waivers, they will be able to outright him to Indianapolis, where he was projected to begin the 2014 season. D’Arnaud was projected to be a depth option at shortstop and second base, while Morel is projected to serve as depth at third base. The Pirates have a more desperate need for third base depth at the moment.

D’Arnaud arrived in the majors in June 2011. In his career he had a .507 OPS in 157 plate appearances. He has a lot of speed and he’s a great base runner. D’Arnaud is also a good enough defender to play shortstop, with a lot of range. The downside is that his bat hasn’t produced in the upper levels, with the exception of success against left-handed pitching.

UPDATE 5:00 PM: The Pirates make the move official.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Mr. Goodkat

    Wow. Surprising considering the lack of decent SS depth in the system…

  • http://www.facebook.com/sean.epstein1 Sean Epstein

    Tim,

    How does Morel make sense for this team? As you say he will likely be at Indy. You already have Hague at Indy and you do not have to clear a 40 man spot to keep him there. Granted, Hague is not a natural 3rd baseman but his bat would seem to play better than Morel’s….especially against lefties. Is Hague that bad at 3rd? Morel that good?

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com/author/admin Tim Williams

      They don’t have any natural third basemen behind Alvarez.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sean.epstein1 Sean Epstein

        True. But would this guy be a long term replacement if Alvarez went down? Why is it important that he be a “natural third baseman?”

        • http://www.piratesprospects.com/author/admin Tim Williams

          Because they have no natural third basemen to replace Alvarez if he goes down. The top options would be converted first basemen.

          • buster09

            Tim,you might have to repeat that a third time before comprehension kicks in.

          • https://profiles.google.com/107500598404660809214 Kerry Writtenhouse

            You can tell it’s been a quiet off season when people argue and complain about the 40th man on the roster. Morel is a different type player than the d’Arnaud/Harrison type player. If he were to add some versatility to his resume`, he could be a better alternative for the roster than Harrison.

  • The Masked robshelb

    .

    This from FanSided three days ago –

    The designation of Brent Morel is a bit surprising, as he was seen as a possible sleeper for the Blue Jays 25th man, especially with position flexibility and the fact that Toronto was said to be working him out at second base. The 26-year-old doesn’t have a ton of power. but his .287/.344/.434 OPS in the minors, coupled with solid glove work, will likely find him a suitor shortly. It would be a surprise if the 10 days pass and he falls back to the Blue Jays.

    http://jaysjournal.com/2014/02/21/blue-jays-claim-liam-hendriks-waivers-dfa-brent-morel/

    Me, I kind’a liked Chase. Sorry to see him go. But I suppose Morel, since he can play 3B AND maybe 2B, offers a little more flexibility.

    But I’m with Sean. With The Hit Collector (Hague), we’d have some chance of a 3B-man now and then capable of hitting the ball at least to the warning track if Mr. Alvarez gets de-railed for awhile.

    Oh well.
    .

    • The Masked robshelb

      .

      This year, we’re way down there on the waiver wire list/rankings. It’s a little troubling that no one above us claimed Morel before we did. No other team needs another potential utility infielder ??
      .

      • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.brooks.581 Stephen Brooks

        Wouldn’t read too terribly much into that. The list of teams seeking a RH 3b-2b depth option probably isn’t that long (though the Jays are on it). Who else can you think of?

    • The Masked robshelb

      .

      And from FanSided this afternoon –

      Morel could find a home in Pittsburgh, though. Gaby Sanchez and Clint Barmes have been taking grounders at third in Bradenton, and Josh Harrison may be a tenured Pirate, but he’s no lock to stick in the major leagues for the long term.

      To be fair, neither is Morel. The Californian has a career .609 OPS (63 OPS+), and although he has better numbers against left-handed pitchers (.684 OPS), they’re not enough to make him a clear Alvarez alternative against southpaws.

      iow, this could easily turn out to be a non-event.

      .

  • emjayinTN

    If this team is seeking someone to “platoon” at 3B against LHP’s, why not just fast forward mentally on how this will be accepted by Pedro, and find a trade partner for him right now.

    Let’s see, we start with a 25 man roster and subtract 12 pitchers at a minimum which leaves 13. A backup Catcher is 1, an extra 1B is 2, a utility IF is 3, and a utility OF is 4 so that brings us to 9, and we have to field 8 – is this what we hope will be our 25th man? I doubt it, and in fact, we may be forced to keep an extra pitcher. Regardless, this is not someone who will be in the final 25.

    • jon6er

      Sometimes I wonder if it is wishful thinking, but I’m pretty sure that i saw Pedro figure out a lot of things at the plate and he had a lot of key hits down the stretch and in the playoffs last year. I really would hate to think that they would platoon a guy a step away from being a superstar.

    • skliesen

      Nobody is on the roster, or going to be acquired, to platoon w Alvarez. He will be penciled in to the clean up spot most every day, and moved down in line up vs the best lefties in the game.

  • https://profiles.google.com/116269181038744632419 Shawn Inlow

    Well. Am I wrong that his OBP is higher than Pedro’s?

    Wonder what his strike-out numbers are.

    -Wabbit

    • The Masked robshelb

      .

      Wabbit,

      Nothing wrong with a hearty strike-out now and then. Kind’a helps clear the air.

      If you don’t strike out now and then, you’re really not trying.

      Go Pedro !!!
      .

  • Y2JGQ2

    This is a really stupid move- I’m guessing they feel confident that noone will take Chase and they can outright him to AAA. I…… honestly think someone is going to take him, horrible move. Absolutely horrible. We have 74 relief pitchers and can’t possibly keep them all, but lets designate Chase……yeah, awesome.

    • buster09

      Hello …Chase can’t hit MLB pitching….at all.

      • piraddict

        Chase struggled against AAA pitching last year. This clears an obstacle in Alen Hanson’s path to AAA development time.

    • piraddict

      Pitchers have a high injury rate, therefore you need to have a lot of them in your stable. Plus relief pitchers blow hot and cold. One years production doesn’t guarantee the next’s. You need more on hand than you would otherwise think because you never know which ones are going to work out this year. This move is the exchange of one backup infielder for another. The Pirates committed to Mercer over D’Arnaud because Mercer’s bat played, D’Arnaud’s did not. Baseball is a harsh game!

    • http://wkkortas.wordpress.com wkkortas

      At least Morel–in theory, anyway–could have a role in Pittsburgh as a right-handed backup to Pedro with an OK glove and a little bit of pop (in theory, mind you–big guys with bad backs are not guys you mortgage the farm for.) As for D’Arnaud, just what would his role be on the 25-man? Outside of pinch running, what does he do well enough that you would want to put him in a game to do it?

  • Ecbucs

    the high injury rate for pitchers is true but the odds that Andy Oliver figured out how to throw 2 strikes in a row over the winter are extremely low.

    I think a big part of this is the Bucs do not think Chase can play shortstop at the major league level (he was thought to be extremely weak with the glove when he had his first cup of coffee).

    The Bucs just don’t think Chase has much of a chance to be a contributor at major league level – he is in the category of Matt Hague now. showed some promise but leveled off.

  • absolute59

    First of all remember we are talking about the 40th man on the 40 man roster. So I doubt any move is really that important. And maybe the PBC believes that no team will claim Chase to put him on their 40 man.

    However, does anyone think that if the PBC DFA’s Jared Hughes any team would claim him and put him on their 40 man. I think not.

    Based on the lack of internal options at SS for Indy, and god forbid an injury on the Pirates, why risk the outside chance of losing Chase in order to protect someone like Jared Hughes?

    • https://profiles.google.com/107500598404660809214 Kerry Writtenhouse

      Actually they signed Andino to play short at indy. D’arnaud did nothing well except for speed.

    • gregenstein

      Because Jared Hughes actually might be a useful major leaguer again this year.

      SS options: Mercer, Barmes, Harrison, Andino.

      I fail to see the need for a 5th depth option at SS. If Barmes and Mercer go down, we’re completely hosed at the position anyway. d’Arnaud doesn’t change that.

  • Ecbucs

    Read Wilbur’s profiles of Chase. Doesn’t have the range of Mercer at short, some believe he may need to move to second. It was not a good sign for him that he wasn’t recalled last September to even be a pinch runner:

    http://players.piratesprospects.com/2010/02/chase-darnaud.html

  • CalipariFan506

    It would be nice to see Morel over Harrison. Better defense better OBP.

    • SteveW

      Harrison has a slightly higher MLB OBP. Harrison also has a higher minor league OBP.

  • https://www.facebook.com/scott.skink Scott Skink

    I guess that’s why Chase was saying goodbye to everyone, including fans, after morning drills.

    At any rate, as was said above, other than baserunning, he brought nothing to the table. His fielding wasn’t all that great and he seemed to double clutch on every play. Worse offense than Barmes, IMO. No great loss unless you’re going to lose sleep about SS depth at Indy. I’m not.

  • dr dng

    1) I was surprised that Chase stayed on the 40 man last summer when the Pirates need a 40 man slot. He battled injuries and never seemed to reach his former potential.
    -
    2) I was always a fan of Hague as I saw him progress up through the system. He’s no longer on the 40 man and looks like he is not going anywhere here. Surprised no one else is interested. Of course if you are an Indy fan, you are happy with him there considering how he has produced for them.
    -

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.j.stein.3 Jeremy J Stein

    So what are the chances that the Blue Jays claim d’Arnaud as a revenge claim hehe

    • https://www.facebook.com/scott.skink Scott Skink

      If anyone it’ll be the Mets. They hate Tejada already and might figure that playing with his brother could help Chase.

  • freddylang

    I once had high hopes for d’Arnaud but he has gone the way of Shelby Ford & Brian Bixler. High strikeouts for guys that cant hit 15 homers in the minors does not bode well for an mlb future.

  • dr dng

    Tim,

    I have the same thoughts as Jeremy.

    Does Chase end up on Toronto?

    Or would the Pirates have already tried
    to make that trade and it did not work out?

    If it was a trade, would you have considered
    it an even trade?