Pirates Add Gift Ngoepe to the 40-Man Roster

The Pittsburgh Pirates have added shortstop Gift Ngoepe to their 40-man roster, according to their official roster page. Ngoepe would have been eligible for minor league free agency soon, and this move keeps him around in the system, much like the addition of Keon Broxton in September kept him in the system.

Ngoepe is the best defensive shortstop in the system, due to his extremely smooth glove work, and exceptional range and routes. He’s also able to provide speed on the bases. Those two skills will eventually get him in the majors as a bench player, backing up the shortstop position. He can also play second and third. The offense doesn’t project to make him anything more than a defensive-minded utility player.

The addition of Ngoepe to the 40-man roster doesn’t mean he’ll be on the major league roster next year, although he will probably have a good shot at the backup shortstop role if Jung-ho Kang is out at the start of the year. This move does allow the Pirates to keep him around for up to three more years, due to his option years.

They could have let him walk as a free agent, and tried to sign him back as a minor league free agent, but they would have risked another team giving him a Major League deal. That has happened in previous years with Pirates minor league free agents Dean Anna and Erik Cordier. In this case, there’s more of an immediate need for shortstop depth with Kang’s injury.

This move probably doesn’t speak well for Pedro Florimon’s chances of sticking on the roster. Ngoepe can provide the same value as Florimon, is younger, and has options. They could try to get Florimon back as a minor league free agent, but keeping Ngoepe around makes him expendable as a depth option.

  • Love this. I don’t think there’s anyone in the system I am rooting for like Gift.

    I was watching him at Toon-Town this last season and he amazes from short. Several times I was surprised that he even got to a ball, let alone turn it into an out.

    I remember this one ball hit to the first base side of second and there was literally NO WAY anyone was getting that ball and -poof! – like magic – there was Gift – turning a can’t miss single into an out. I was out of my seat on the play.

    The guy is just electric smooth. The fans at PNC are gonna enjoy this guy. And if he hits even a little bit, he’ll be loved.


  • Is this kid Florimon 2.0 ?

  • I’m in agreement with the move of Gift for Florimon and not just money wise, in case others forgot – Florimon wasn’t without issues in the field last year. I think Gift is better defensively and neither has much of a bat – although again I like Gifts approach, kind of reminds me of Lee Lacy a bit. With some coaching there’s a decent singles hitter in there with his speed.

  • Yep, my 1st thought was that Florimon was gone.

  • Glad to see it for Gift. In reality, he probably won’t be substantially better than Florimon, but it’s nice to see him having worked from the bottom of the organization to the top.

  • If I remember reading correctly Friday is the day that players have to be re-instated from the 60 day DL. So more moves will be made soon

  • I really think barring any other pickups that he has a great chance of starting the season as a 25th man. There is a good argument that he still needs nearly a full season of AAA (7 seasons in minors and only 2000 AB) but he made some advances last year and has 900+ AA AB. He won’t really need to do anything but provide great defense off the bench and hit 8th occasionally until Kang comes back. Then there will be plenty of AAA ABs to be had the rest of the season barring other injuries. I would give him a bunch of ABs next spring and see how he handles it.

  • Oh happy day! It’s been fun watching Gift down in ST last three years and the handful of times he’s been on TV.

    I was on another site on a thread about the DH coming to the NL. IMO, if it really has to come, then I’d love to see it modified so any position could be DH’d for. If you were in a situation where you had to start Florimon or Gift for instance, and you had Cole or Liriano starting, you’d be better off letting the pitcher hit than the SS, right?

    If you were a Giants fan, who would you rather see hit, Bumgarner or Ediri Adrianza?

  • Glad we delt Jacoby Jones. 50 Games drug suspension.

  • N-go-pay

  • Gift is a great story, I have been watching him every spring training for the last few years and I hope he makes it to the Bigs.

  • Man, Rule 5 will be interesting.