The Rays have claimed first baseman/outfielder Jake Goebbert off waivers from the Pirates, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Goebbert has been optioned to Triple-A Durham, according to Topkin.
Pittsburgh signed Goebbert, 28, to a Major League deal this offseason and carried him on the roster through Spring Training, but the club designated him for assignment late in camp in order to clear roster spot for the final wave of non-roster invitees that had made the club (Cole Figueroa, Matt Joyce and Cory Luebke).
Last season, the left-handed-hitting Goebbert spent the year with the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate, where he batted .294/.392/.452 with 10 home runs. While the Pacific Coast League is known as an exceptionally hitter-friendly environment, Goebbert has long shown a discerning eye at the plate, walking in 11.1 percent of his plate appearances since being selected by the Astros in the 13th round of the 2009 draft. Goebbert does have a bit of big league experience, having batted .218/.313/.317 in 115 PAs with San Diego in 2014. He’ll give the Rays some additional depth in the outfield corners and at first base, though neither of those is a particularly thin area for Tampa Bay’s big league club.