The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that they have traded minor league right-handed pitcher Frank Duncan to the Arizona Diamondbacks for 28-year-old infielder Phil Gosselin.

Gosselin has played parts of four seasons in the majors, setting a career high with 122 games played in 2016. He hit .277/.324/.368 in 240 plate appearances. Gosselin played mostly off the bench, starting 33 times, spread out over six positions. Most of his playing time has been at second base, though he has played all four infield spots and both corner outfield positions. He put up an .873 OPS in 44 games during the 2015 season. Gosselin was originally a fifth round pick in 2010, and he has actually put up slightly better numbers in the majors than in the minors, where he had a .710 OPS and didn’t hit for any power or steal many bases, while spending most of his time at second base. His highest ranking in the minors by Baseball America was 25th in the Atlanta Braves system.

Duncan had a breakout season in 2016 after starting the year in Extended Spring Training due to an oblique injury. He began the year in the Altoona bullpen, yet he ended up making 20 starts in Indianapolis, posting a 2.23 ERA in 112 innings, with a 1.20 WHIP and 92 strikeouts. Duncan projected to be a depth starter, who would likely end up as a middle reliever in the majors. His excellent command and strong ground ball rate, helped him get the most of a fastball that usually sat 88-91 MPH this season. He has topped out at 94 in the past.

The Pirates will need to make another move to clear room on the 40-man roster.

UPDATE: Nefi Ogando has been designated for assignment to make room for Gosselin. The Pirates picked Ogando up off waivers in December. He pitched 14 games for the Marlins in 2016, posting a 2.30 ERA in 15.2 innings. The 27-year-old right-handed pitcher has a fastball that averages 95 MPH and tops out at 98, so it would be ideal if the Pirates could sneak him through waivers and keep him as depth in Indianapolis.

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115 COMMENTS

  1. C’mon everyone, lets stop attacking each other and use this board for which it is intended-analyzing a mediocre at best ball club.

  2. Not sure if anyone said this already but I think the Pirates are protecting themselves in case Kang is suspended. At least Gosselin gives them some sort of depth in case they are short for a month or so.

  3. What the hell is the point of this? Looks like the Pirates are desperate and will pick up any and all discards from any team and pay much more then they are worth. NH is going for GM of the year. Oh wait, some team dropped a ball boy. wonder if they will give up Meadows for him??????????????????????????

  4. Although the cost of Duncan wasn’t steep, but I don’t understand why the Pirates want a guy like Gosselin. Yeah, I get he’s been a good pinch hitter (but little power) and can play several positions, but we have kids like Frazier and Hansen who could also fill that role. I’d rather have Frazier, who adds the element of speed, off the bench and spot starting than a guy like Gosselin who was just DFA’d by a bad team. The Pirates have this supposed great farm system, but it continues to be under utilized…

  5. Minor deal but I like it. We were basically empty at middle infield if Hanson didn’t step up. This also frees up someone (like Holmes) to move up to AAA now. I don’t think Duncan was one of our top five options for the AAA rotation.

      • No.

        But I’ll keep them down to one/week.

        Which is quite unfortunate, because I have a great one coming about grabbing someone by the Pussy Tebeau…but it’ll have to wait.

          • Who jokes about past presidents? I mean, should I dust off some witty Gerald Ford references, too?

            But, to make you happy, I will make a funny Clinton/Obama joke…but you’ll have to wait until next week. I’ve already violated Foo’s terms of service by making a comment unrelated to baseball…so I don’t want to push my luck.

  6. Everybody, say hello to the new utility infielder. Welcome to town New Serpico. This also probably draws the end for Hansons time with the Bucs, I don’t see him clearing waivers.

  7. I got his from my brother-in-law who is a big D’backs fan, about Gosselin.

    Good player.Can play just about anywhere. Team player, Better hitter than he gets credit for. Great addition to any team.

  8. Light, Gosselin… the parade of AAAAers has begun. I don’t understand why NH is so allergic to using his own prospects. Talent for talent I like both deals but I have to chuckle at how predictable NH is. I’m not complaining but expect a veteran SP ala Mat Latos or Jorge de la Rosa to be added, hopefully as an NRI

  9. I tend to think there are a lot of moving peices that resulted in this move making sense. For one, Duncan has no shot at making an impact for the Pirates this season or in the foreseeable future with all of the young talent blcoking his view of the major league mound. Second, and more importantly, from a depth standpoint we have signifigantyly downgraded our bench depth from last season, as we have gone from Matt Joyce and Sean Rodriguez to Adam Frazier and Alen Hanson as the top OF and middle IF options. I like Adam Frazier, but Alen Hanson peaked in the minors in 2012 and has not proven he can hit consistantly in AAA or the majors. Gosselin is more of a super utility player (ala S-Rod) than Hanson or Frazier. The final domino would be Kang. If he misses any time due to re-injury or smashing into another guard rail, David Freese would take over at third, further depleting our bench. In Gosselin, we get a bench player that has proven that he can hit major league pitching, can play all four infield spots and the corner outfield spots. I think this could prove to be a solid move. time will tell.

  10. Sad to see Duncan go, I liked his story. Senior draftee because of going to the mid-30’s round the prior year. Had so/so year in hi-a, so moved to bullpen following year when leveled up, but forced his way into the rotation in AA and AAA. Sounds like a lot of grit and determination, organizations need guys like this. I would have liked to have seen if he couldve forced his way into the rotation this year if there were injuries at the MLB level. I would say that this is a favor to him by the Pirates, but barring some moves or injuries in their rotation, Arizona doesn’t seem like they have any room for Ducan either. Who knows, but IMO, I think it’s an overpay, especially if Duncan can replicate his numbers from last year and ends up on arizonas 25 man roster at any point in next couple years

  11. People are reacting like Duncan is going to be a number 3 starter. He will probably never be more than a spot starter with the potential to be a mid relief pitcher such as Jared Hughes. I think this is a potentially good trade.

    • Agree with your statement, but in essence they traded Duncan and Ogando, this does not make a whole lot of sense unless he is able to play SS, if he does not then we still do not have a back up SS.

    • The question is why wasn’t he picked up for free since he made it through waivers to the point where Arz could DFA him. If he were some type of SS it might make sense but he plays positions that are redundant.

      • You don’t have to clear waivers before being DFA’d. If you did, any time a team needed to remove someone from the 40 man, via being DFA’d, they’d then have to wait 3 days for the waiver process to play out before they actually had that spot cleared.

    • This was my first thought. I guess they battle it out in spring training? I really was hoping hanson would take a step forward this year.

    • Having options I would think you just stash Gosselin in AAA as depth and put Hanson on the 25 man. If Hanson can’t cut it you then have insurance in Gosselin waiting in AAA.

      • Is Josh Harrison leaving? Did we just trade a AAA RHSP who had a breakout year in 2016 to get another utility infielder? If Hanson moves up, then we will have Gosselin, Ngoepe, Bostick, Moroff, and Newman all at AAA? We traded Gushue to get Bostick late last year and now this? I cannot see any value added with either of them..

        • Duncan isn’t a rotation piece on a playoff team. Pirates have plenty of arms who can do what he does for organization.

          Hopefully he can be of service to AZ and help Pirates make it as WC team over SF/LA loser.

      • Unless there’s some other move, I don’t see it.

        I don’t think Duncan is a world beater, but there’s the adage of never having enough pitching…and here the Pirates traded a guy who might be a back of the rotation starter or, perhaps, a competent innings eater out of the bullpen.

        Neither of those things sound sexy, but they have value…

        In return, they get a 28 year old 2B that doesn’t steal, doesn’t hit for power and has put up a .710 OPS in 2,200+ MiLB PAs.

        If he’s expected to be depth, I can’t see how he’s more valuable than Frazier/Hanson.

        I see one of three possibilities to explain the trade:

        1. A Harrison move is on the horizon.
        2. The Pirates don’t think much of Duncan and wanted to get something from him.
        3. Jason Rogers 2.0

      • Have to think they like his defensive ability at SS to a certain degree. Otherwise, this move doesn’t make much sense on the surface.

        Of course, CH loves having veteran bench players. That’s reason enough I suppose.

        • Also Scott, if you look at the pitching & pitching prospect list, Duncan would have been lucky to even had a starting job in the orginization this coming season. His lack of velo hurt him.

  12. I assume Gosselin will compete with Hanson for the final bench spot. I assume Gosselin doesn’t have options if he has been in the majors parts of four years.

  13. Dude was DFA’d a few days ago. Why didn’t we get him for free rather than give up an asset. Classic asset mismanagement by the Bucs. This organization can’t do anything right.

        • Truth be told, if you don’t understand a process, you should ask questions about it rather than make ridiculous inflammatory statements about someone else not being able to do anything right.

          • Obviously you don’t understand the concept of hyperbole. You think I’m really that worked-up over a pitcher who might be a quad AAAA pitcher at best? Inflammatory? Do you work for the Pirates front office or something?

                • But “classic asset mismanagement” when you then admitted to not understanding the process of which the assets are managed wasn’t? If you have a solid understanding of someone else’s mistake, inflame away and you’ll get no complaints from me but, the asinine statements that put others down when you clearly didn’t understand how the DFA process works is a little much.

                • For the record:

                  Inflammatory: (especially of speech or writing) arousing or intended to arouse angry or violent feelings.

                  You pretty clearly intended to arouse angry feelings about how terrible the Pirates front office is by labeling their perceived mistake as “classic” as if they make them all the time and then you hammered it home with the hyperbolic “this organization can’t do anything right”.

                  So no, it wasn’t an overstatement.

                  • Great use of the dictionary. However, there is a logical fallacy in your argument—namely, your assumption of my intent. In the legal context, “intent” can only be proven by clear in convincing evidence (not preponderance of evidence).

                    Here, you have clearly failed to meet your evidentiary burden to prove intent.

                • You said the Pirates organization can’t do anything right. That’s not inflammatory?

                  There are 29 other MLB franchises to cheer for if you truly hate Pirates that much. Choose one.

            • Hyperbole is impossible without a statement acknowledging it or some sort of punctuation to at least hint at it.

              • Hyperbole seems to have a new definition.

                Hyperbole: When you get called out for saying something stupid, deflect the criticism by claiming your statement was intended to be hyperbolic and therefore you aren’t stupid anymore.

      • Come on Bruce. You can do better than just calling people an idiot. You are a regular here. How about a little more respect for people? Now I have to listen to people name call rather than talk baseball. You are a cancer on this site sometimes.

        • I would love to talk baseball…
          I subscribed to this site for the max on day one because I thought the subscription model would get rid of the Zachary Fs and we could not have to deal with the crap he and others like (BFSTIM) him bring to EVERY THREAD ON THIS SITE.

          I am sad that Tim has let the Trolls roam free – but it’s his site and his choice.

          • Bruce, when you let someone make you become the troll then you are actually part of the problem. This is just my opinion but in a time where even the president trolls people in interviews and on twitter, we all just need a little less. So when someone spouts misinformation it is best for me at least to just either ignore it and move on, or maybe even educate them a little. Although I know how hard it is to educate some of these boneheads that exist online. Some people will argue with a stop sign. They just aren’t worth it.

    • Do you understand how the DFA process works? It seems you do not. The Pirates do. That’s at least one thing that they are doing right.

    • I’d assume after Arizona DFA’d him, they had at least one other team interested in him via trade so he wouldn’t have reached the point of being released for us to pick him up.

        • They get 10 days to waive, trade, or release him. If a team claims him off waivers during that 10 days they can still work out a trade with someone else. If they don’t, the team that claimed him gets him. If the 10 days pass, and he went unclaimed, they can send him to their minors.

      • Duncan is a guy that may or may not have ever started a game at the MLB level, and at least Gosselin is an MLB level guy.

        Of course the Dbags could’ve just threatened Neil like “give us Duncan or we’ll bean Cutch in the head this time” or “if you don’t make this trade LaRussa will be knocking on Greg Browns door every inning we play you guys”

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