The Daric Barton era in Oakland isn't over just yet. When Barton was designated for assignment on Friday, he was the longest-tenured member of the Oakland A's 40-man roster, having made his debut with the A's in September 2007. While Barton is no longer on the A's 40-man roster, he is now officially a member of the organization once again.
The A's announced on Thursday that Barton had cleared waivers, meaning that all 29 teams had taken a pass on adding him to their 25-man roster, and that they were outrighting him to Triple-A Sacramento. The River Cats are opening their season on Thursday night at Raley Field.
Later on Thursday, the A's also announced that Travis Blackley had been traded to the Houston Astros for outfielder Jake Goebbert. Blackley, like Barton, had been designated for assignment by the A's last Friday. Blackley will reportedly be added to the Houston 25-man roster in time for the Astros' series against the A's, which starts on Friday.
Goebbert, 25, is a left-handed hitting outfielder who was a 13th-round pick of the Astros in 2009. The Northwestern alum had been slated to start the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, although it isn't immediately clear whether he will report to Triple-A Sacramento or Double-A Midland with Oakland.
Goebbert has been productive over the past three seasons in the Astros' chain. In 2010, he spent the entire season in the Low-A Sally League and posted a .291/.363/.445 line with 10 homers in 135 games.
Goebbert made the jump to High-A to start the 2011 season. Although he hit only .260/.319/.413 with Lancaster, Goebbert earned a promotion to Double-A Corpus Christi, where he improved his line to .305/.368/.456 in 75 games. Goebbert finished the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, and he held his own, posting a .283/.345/.415 line in 31 games. He participated in the Arizona Fall League that fall.
In 2012, Goebbert began the year in Triple-A, but he was sent back to Double-A after only 16 games during which he hit .133/.257/.167, as the Astros went with more veteran outfielders in Triple-A (including former A's first-round pick Travis Buck). Goebbert spent the rest of the season in Double-A, and he put together his best year as a pro. In 114 games for the Hooks, Goebbert batted .304/.399/.473 with 12 homers.
Primarily a corner outfielder, Goebbert has played some center on occasion and has also filled in at first base. He has a strong throwing arm and average speed.