Goebbert was claimed by the Rays on Wednesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The 28-year-old will begin his time with the Rays on their Triple-A Durham club, just three days after the Pirates designated him for assignment. He struggled this spring, batting just 6-for-31 after spending the last few years in the Padres organization. Goebbert batted .294/.392/.452 in 122 games with Triple-A El Paso in 2015.
The Pirates designated Goebbert for assignment Sunday, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. The 28-year-old never had much of a shot at claiming a roster spot out of spring training, and dug his own grave by going just 6-for-31 (.194) at the dish during Grapefruit League play. It's unlikely that Goebbert will be claimed off waivers by another team, so expect him to report to the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate at Indianapolis once he clears.
Goebbert walked in one plate appearance during Wednesday's 9-3 spring training game loss to the Orioles. This spring training, Goebbert has had 14 at-bats, three hits, three RBI, and one run. Goebbert has been a minor league journeyman his entire career but did see 115 plate appearances for the Padres in 2014. The 28-year-old could come off the bench to fill in for the Pirates' everyday first basemen John Jaso and right fielder Gregory Polanco when they need off days, but he is likely limited to that role heading into the 2016 season.
Goebbert is expected to compete for a spot off the bench for Pittsburgh in 2016, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. "He's a versatile left-handed hitter who does some things we like in the batter's box," GM Neal Huntington said. "He could compete to make our club as a bat off the bench." Goebbert could also compete for time as the left-handed part of a first base platoon, especially if Pedro Alvarez is dealt, but his best bet to make the team is as a backup first baseman/outfielder. He also has three minor league options remaining, leaving Pittsburgh flexibility to start him at Triple-A if it finds better options.
Goebbert signed with the Pirates on Wednesday, Stephen Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The 28-year-old did not play in the major leagues last season after being DFA'd by the Padres in January. He spent the year at Triple-A El Paso, hitting .294 with 10 home runs and 62 RBI in 122 games. His last major league appearance came in 2014, when he logged time in 51 games (115 plate appearances) for San Diego. With the acquisition, the Pirates now have 39 players on the 40-man roster.
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