The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed a familiar face to a minor league contract
On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Pirates reached a minor league deal with a familiar face. This familiar face was super utility player Jake Elmore. According to DKPittsburghSports, Elmore and the Pirates have agreed to terms for him to remain with the organization. The 32-year-old Elmore was one of the best hitters for Triple-A Indianapolis in 2019.
Elmore had 414 plate appearances in 109 games for Triple-A Indy in 2019. Elmore slashed .322/.387/.455 with a wRC+ of 116 in these 109 games. With the Indians, Elmore played third base, shortstop, second base, and left field. He has also played first base in his professional career.
While Elmore spent the majority of his 2019 season with Triple-A Indianapolis, he did play in 20 games for the Pirates. In these 20 games he slashed .213/.245/.234 with a wRC+ of 27 in 49 plate appearances.
Without a doubt Elmore’s minor league deal will include an invite to Spring Training. Despite this, the odds of Elmore making the club would appear slim. Colin Moran will be the team’s starting third baseman and Kevin Newman will start somewhere in the middle infield. If Cole Tucker is not the starting shortstop on Opening Day, he is likely to make the team as a backup infielder. Erik Gonzalez will serve a similar role, and Jose Osuna appears to have a leg up on the competition in a INF/OF role.
Elmore is likely to start the season back with Triple-A Indy. With the Indians, he will likely serve as a super utility man once again. Ke’Bryan Hayes will start at third base and Kevin Kramer will likely be at second base, eliminating two potential starting spots for Elmore with the Indians.
As is often the case with minor league signings, this deal with Elmore is nothing more than a depth move. Pirate fans saw in 2019 how much depth can be leaned on during a MLB season. Even though the odds of Elmore making the 26-man roster out of Spring Training are likely slim, due to injuries and player ineffectiveness Elmore will have a good opportunity to see MLB time again in 2020.