MLB Player News
Jake 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 see 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 has three minor league options remaining, leaving Pittsburgh with the flexibility to start him at Triple-A if necessary.
Jake Goebbert signed with the Pittsburgh 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.
Dan Vogelbach was added to the Chicago Cubs ' 40-man roster on Friday, the Daily Herald's Bruce Miles reports.
He should spend the majority of his age-23 season at Triple-A, as the Cubs do not have an opening for the bulky slugger. That said, if he were traded to an American League team, Vogelbach would immediately become one of the more exciting designated hitters from a fantasy standpoint.
Wilin Rosario was designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies on Friday, Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports.
With the Rockies opting against playing Rosario behind the plate in 2015, the 26-year-old was relegated to a platoon role at first base, logging 242 plate appearances (94 vs LHP) in 87 games. His defense at first base was arguably even worse than his defense at catcher, and the team ultimately decided to bump him from the 40-man to make room for more promising young players. Perhaps Rosario will draw interest from some AL teams while on waivers.
Kyle Blanks (Achilles) has agreed to a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants , pending a physical, Andrew Baggarly of the Bay Area News Group reports.
The "pending a physical" part is no formality with Blanks, who was limited to 18 games last season due to Achilles tendinitis, and had to have both Achilles' tendons operated on in the offseason. Blanks brings some pop and can draw a walk, but he's limited defensively. A short-end platoon role with Brandon Belt at first base would likely be a best-case scenario for Blanks in 2016.
Dominic Smith suffered a strained oblique muscle in the Arizona Fall League, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports.
One of the club's top prospects, Smith had an impressive season with High-A St. Lucie in 2015, slashing .305/.354/.417 with six homers and 79 RBI in 118 games. The oblique injury shouldn't effect his availability for the spring, but it could end his AFL stint early.
Cody Decker was sent outright to Triple-A El Paso Wednesday.
Decker was called up to the San Diego Padres near the end of September -- his first opportunity with a major league club in his career. Used primarily as a pinch-hitter, Decker was unable to record a hit, going 0-for-11 in eight appearances with the club. Decker certainly has the power, (he hit 65 home runs in three years with Triple-A El Paso) but it remains to be seen whether he can boast a consistent batting average worthy of a major league roster spot.
Adam Lind 's $8 million contract option for 2016 was exercised by the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports.
The 32-year-old proved a bargain at his $7.5 million price tag for 2015, as he hit .277/.360/.460 with 20 homers, 87 RBI and a career-high 66 walks in 149 games. Lind made the decision to pick up his option an easy one for Milwaukee, though the club still figures to entertain offers for the first baseman's services over the winter.
Oft-injured veteran first baseman Justin Morneau will become a free agent after his $9 million mutual option was declined by the Colorado Rockies .
Morneau was limited to just 49 games in 2015 due to a concussion and considering his history (he missed chunks of time in 2010 and 2011 with concussions) there's no guarantee that the 34 year old will return for another season.
However, if he chooses to play another season he should see a fair amount of interest from other clubs. He slashed .310/.363/.458 with three home runs and 15 RBI in 168 at-bats with the Rockies this season.
Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Travis Ishikawa will elect to become a free agent, according to SB Nation.
Stuck behind Pedro Alvarez, Mike Morse and Sean Rodriguez on the depth chart, it seemed likely Ishikawa would elect to play elsewhere after joining the Pirates through waivers in the beginning of July. It's unclear where he will play next after he slashed a miserable .206/.306/.302 in 63 at-bats with the Giants and Pirates last season.