Pirates Sign 1B/OF Jake Goebbert, Added to 40-Man Roster

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced the signing of 1B/OF Jake Goebbert on Wednesday morning. He is a 28-year-old lefty/lefty, who spent the 2015 season in AAA with the San Diego Padres, where he hit .294/.392/.452 in 122 games, though it should be noted that it is a high-offense league and park in El Paso. Goebbert played 51 games for the Padres in 2014, which is his only Major League experience to date. He posted a .630 OPS in 115 plate appearances. He was added to the 40-man roster, which now has one empty spot.

Goebbert was a 2009 draft pick of the Houston Astros, taken in the 13th round. He has spent at least part of each of the last five seasons in AAA, posting a career .283/.370/.452 slash line in 783 games over seven minor league seasons. He hit a career high 22 homers in 2013, though he spent most of that season in AA as a 25-year-old.

The decision to add him to the 40-man roster seems like an odd one, especially since he was a minor league free agent. He’s old for a AAA player and has very limited MLB experience. He has been part of two trades, starting with the Astros, before going to the A’s, who traded him to the Padres during the 2014 season. Despite that, Goebbert was never a highly rated prospect. He has a good arm, but no speed and the power is average. Most of his time on defense has been spent in left field or right field. He’s played sparingly at first base and doesn’t have the range/speed to play center field.

It looks like he has three options remaining, so that gives them some flexibility that they don’t have with other position players on the 40-man roster, such as Jaff Decker, Pedro Florimon and Tony Sanchez.

  • I won’t say a word – you know what I think of this…

  • When I first glanced at this I thought it said Jared Goedert. This is very slightly better.

  • I also think maybe they will trade Polanco for Benedict.

  • He is going to be part of a package with PEDRO to the A’S to bring back everyone’s favorite.

  • Maybe he can play CB???? There’s a team down the block that needs…….

  • Why would the pirates add these non 40 man bums to their 40-man?

  • Is there an extra financial cost for putting this guy on the 40 man, even for a month or two? I can’t see him being on the 40 man by the end of spring training.

    • Very minor implications. Not sure of the date and/or fractions, but if DFA’d by a certain date (end of March?) only obligated to 1/3 (?) of contract.

  • Well, all you guys who arguing the Pirates should hit the FA market for a 1Bman can now relax.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    November 25, 2015 11:26 am

    Another poor use of a spot on the 40 man…why does this guy need protected? Is there really a risk of him being signed by anyone? He’s a AAAA at best, and not a very good AAAA player. Dumb.

    • Especially after already letting Lambo go. Don’t get me wrong, both players are pretty bad at baseball, but I’d still take Lambo if given the choice.

      • I rarely chime in, but I was a heck of a ball player- and never got a sniff of any kind of pro contract….I do not think someone that plays AAA ball and tops out as a AAAA is “pretty bad at baseball” My opinion only, but I think re-evaluation of definitions may be appropriate.

        • Well, yes. Compared to you, me, and the guy that just made my burrito at lunch *all* of these guys are extremely good at playing baseball.

          But since you, me, and the burrito guy will never sniff *any* form of professional baseball, it’s commonly assumed that we’re judging these players relative to their actual peers, in which case no, they are not very good at playing baseball.

      • Lambo really must have disenchanted a number of people in the front office. A year younger, more power, better pedigree, better performance in the non-altitude league…

        • There’s something going on with that debilitating case of plantar meningitis. Maybe not Operation Shutdown level, but it seems all too coincidental that he immediately starting playing winter ball yet couldn’t muster a single at bat after being demoted.

          • I’m not being flippant here, but it would not surprise me in the least if it were discovered that Lambo has a form of social anxiety disorder.

            • Something seems to have happened in the last year to 18 months to sour PGH on him. Whether its a personal issue or was a off the field situation that is to this point unreported, PGH went from seemingly cool with having him as an option for a bench role to just not valuing him enough to play him much while injured/coming back from injury.

              • Not even sure how much I trust him at this point, but when I read DK he was fairly blunt in believing that Huntington was forcing Lambo on Hurdle, who never really wanted him in the first place.

                Again, grain of salt, but this started when DK actually paid attention to baseball. I’d give him the benefit of the doubt.

                • I could buy some of that. Something wasnt right, either with Hurdle taking a stand or the FO drastically changing its mind about the player for some reason.

            • I appreciate that point made in a reasoned manner

    • Careful – you are at risk for being labeled a Troll for not being awed by the moves made by the BMTIBB

  • Let us assume for a moment that the Pirate brain trust knows a little more then we do.

    • Since they’ve so masterfully filled the first base position over their first eight season, I very much agree. No sense even bothering to question them, these guys are perfect.

      • He didn’t say NH is perfect. And even though 1B has been a position of below average production for many years, as you correctly pointed out, they have still managed to win more baseball games than just about every team in baseball lately.

      • I heard Goebbert is the next Ike Davis.

    • And that is a really good idea – look at all the Division, NL and World Series flags the BMTIBB has flying over PNC Park!

      36 years of losing is more than enough!

  • Looks like a classic moneyball player to me. Very odd that they gave him a major league contract though.

    • Compares a lot to the AAA numbers of Kevin Youkilis, maybe even better.

      Jake Goebbert AAA PA-997 HR-30 RBI-144 .282/.386/.465 BB%-13.9 SO%-16.4

      Kevin Youkilis AAA PA-534 HR-14 RBI-62 .259/.377/.432 BB%-14.4 SO%-15.7

      I know both played at different times against completely different pitchers, but if he plays half as well as KY, then this could be a great move… plus now we can move Pedro. Best case scenario: Takes over 1st.maybe the 2016 offseason version of Cervelli… Most likely scenario: makes platoon with Morse effective until Bell arrives and adds LH bat to bench. Worst case: Complete dud, becomes only a LH bat off bench i.e. Lambo, but with all options remaining. Only negative is he takes up spot on 40. Regardless this is a steal….

  • Oh,oh…unleash the rage

    • SufferinBuccotash
      November 25, 2015 11:10 am

      Well, to be fair, this is a head scratcher.

      The guy’s profile screams minor league contract with spring training invite, and they sign him to a major league deal and put him on the 40? Odd, to say the least.

      • Amen. I don’t care how anyone spins this one. There is zero reason to sign this guy and put him on 40 man.

        • Perhaps the 40-man was a condition of him signing with the Pirates over another team.

        • Only reason would be if they feel he can slide through waivers without issue. At that point, they added a guy they feel can at least round out the AAA roster with some maybe upside and with enough flexibility/options to allow them to not worry if they gotta move him for a FA addition.

          Not a sexy move or one i really agree with, but if they do manage to keep him in AAA its a non awful situation.

      • Why does it matter? It’s a 40 man roster spot they have one left. If they need to sign two people someone will be cut. What exactly have the Pirates lost?