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Pirates claim infielder Jake Elmore from Reds

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Jonathan Daniel

The Pirates have announced that they've claimed infielder Jake Elmore from the Reds.

Elmore, 27, collected only a handful of big league plate appearances last year. He hit .242/.313/.325 in 136 plate appearances with the Astros in 2013. As you might guess from his age, he has a fair amount of experience at Triple-A, hitting .313/.407/.422 in Triple-A stints in four organizations. Unfortunately, his best year there was in 2012, but even last season, he posted a .376 OBP at Triple-A. Elmore is a career .290 hitter in the minors, with more career walks than strikeouts.

Elmore can play shortstop, second base and third base, and he's played a bit of outfield as well. He has one option remaining. He doesn't appear to be a great defensive player overall, but his versatility and on-base ability (Steamer projects he would post a .321 OBP at the big league level next year, not bad at all for a bench infielder) make him a significantly better depth option than the Michael Martinezes of the world. We'll see if this acquisition and the Justin Sellers trade indicate the Pirates aren't bringing Clint Barmes back, but these could just be depth moves, and the Bucs usually like to carry two bench infielders anyway.