On Monday evening the Pittsburgh Pirates made a minor trade with the Toronto Blue Jays, while also adding three players to their 40-man roster.
The deadline for Major League Baseball teams to add players to their 40-man roster in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft is 8 p.m. EST Monday. On Monday evening, the Pittsburgh Pirates added three players to their 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft.
It is no surprise that the Pirates protected Luis Escobar and Austin Meadows. Both of these players were mentioned over the weekend when discussing players the Bucs were likely to protect from the Rule 5 Draft. However, it is a bit of a surprise to see the Pirates protect Dario Agrazal.
Dario Agrazal is a 22-year-old starting pitcher who, outside of one start for Double-A, spent all of 2017 at High-A. We will have more on Agrazal tomorrow.
In addition to adding these three players to their 40-man roster, the Pittsburgh Pirates also made a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday evening. The Bucs traded utility infielder Gift Ngoepe to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later.
The light-hitting Ngoepe made his Major League debut in 2017, becoming the first African born player in Major League history. In 63 plate appearances for the Pirates last season Ngoepe owned a .323 on-base percentage, a .281 wOBA, a wRC+ of 71, and an alarming 41.3 percent strikeout rate.
Gift Ngoepe can play third base, shortstop, and second base. He also is a plus defender at all three positions. However, his lack of offense has always held him back and that is the main reason the Pirates have moved on from Ngoepe.
With these moves, the Pirates currently have 38 players on their 40-man roster. This leaves the Bucs with a pair of open 40-man roster spots.