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.
— Pirates (@Pirates) February 10, 2017
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.