Pirates sign Goebbert, deal cash for Webster
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates made a pair of moves to fill up their 40-man roster on Wednesday, signing free-agent first baseman/outfielder Jake Goebbert, and acquiring right-hander Allen Webster from the D-backs in exchange for cash considerations.
Goebbert, 28, is the Pirates' first free-agent signing of the offseason. He hit .294 with an .844 OPS, 10 home runs and 62 RBIs for Triple-A El Paso last season. The left-handed hitter has played 51 games in the Majors, all with the Padres in 2014, and hit .218/.313/.317 in 115 plate appearances.
Goebbert has three options remaining, so he can be sent to the Minor Leagues if he doesn't make the club out of Spring Training. But the Pirates intend to give him that chance, as he could provide a bat off the bench while playing first base and left or right field.
"He's a left-handed hitter who does some things we like. He has some defensive flexibility. With the options, he brings us a ton of flexibility and versatility," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. "We like the way he commands the zone. We feel like he's a good complement to our existing group of players."
Goebbert made 40 appearances in left field, 29 at first base, 25 in center and 21 in right for El Paso this past season. In San Diego, he played 25 games at first base and eight in left field.
Picked by the Astros in the 13th round of the 2009 Draft, Goebbert was traded to the A's in 2013. The Padres acquired him in exchange for Kyle Blanks the next May. He became a free agent earlier this month.
The D-backs designated Webster, 25, for assignment on Friday. He went 1-1 with a 5.81 ERA in nine games, including five starts, for Arizona this past season.
"It's a guy with a good arm. He has [done] some things that we've liked in the past. We had the opportunity to acquire him and see if we can help him," Huntington said. "We believe if we can help him, he can turn around and help our Major League team in a variety of roles."
An 18th-round Draft pick in 2008, Webster was sent to the Red Sox in 2013 as part of the blockbuster Adrian Gonzalez trade. Boston traded Webster to Arizona last offseason as part of a deal for starter Wade Miley.
In 28 appearances over parts of three Major League seasons, Webster has gone 7-6 with a 6.13 ERA. In the Minors, Webster owns a career 50-39 record and a 3.86 ERA.