The Pirates announced that they have signed first baseman/outfielder Jake Goebbert to a Major League contract. His signing brings the team’s 40-man roster to a total of 39.
Goebbert, 28, spent the entire 2015 season in Triple-A with the Padres, 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.
Houston sent Goebbert to the Athletics in April of 2013 in exchange for left-hander Travis Blackley, and he was traded again a year later, heading from Oakland to San Diego in exchange for fellow first baseman/outfielder Kyle Blanks. Goebbert received 115 plate appearances with the Padres in 2014 — his only Major League experience — and batted .218/.313/.317 with a homer, a double and three triples.
Goebbert’s addition to the 40-man roster comes at a time when the Pirates are known to be shopping Pedro Alvarez, though his presence isn’t necessarily an indicator that Alvarez will be jettisoned. It’s unlikely he’d be slotted in for any kind of starting role, though the Pirates clearly like him enough that he has to be considered in the mix for a spot as a left-handed bat off the bench next year.