Among the scenarios Jake Goebbert envisioned for his opening day in Triple-A baseball, this was not on the list.
Goebbert finished some early batting practice with the Oklahoma City RedHawks and was preparing for the rainy, 40-degree weather in Memphis when manager Tony DeFrancesco called him into the office. DeFrancesco told Goebbert, a 2006 Hampshire High School graduate, he had been traded to the Oakland A’s.
The Houston Astros traded Goebbert, an outfielder who spent last year at Double-A Corpus Christi, to Oakland for left-handed pitcher Travis Blackley, who is expected to join the Astros today.
“It’s still kind of a shock, kind of a whirlwind,” Goebbert said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity. I feel like there’s a lot of opportunity that will present itself with this organization. It kind of solidifies that they wanted me, too. They traded for me for a reason.”
Blackley was 6-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 24 games with Oakland last season, but posted a 14.21 ERA in spring training. Goebbert is a .285 career hitter with 32 home runs and 237 RBIs in four minor league seasons.
Goebbert had climbed to Triple-A this season after spending spring training with the Astros. His wife Heather came back to Hampshire to work and Goebbert was living in an Oklahoma City hotel.
“I hadn’t signed a lease yet, so it’s no big deal about moving,” he said. “It works out perfectly. She’ll be able to meet me wherever I’m stationed.”
Goebbert was scheduled to fly back to Oklahoma City this morning and get his equipment and belongings. He will then catch a flight to join Oakland’s Double-A Midland (Texas) RockHounds in Springdale, Ark. The RockHounds won their opener, 11-0, Thursday against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.
“It doesn’t bother me [to be in Double-A],” Goebbert said. “From any level, you can move just as quickly. It’s a fresh start and a fresh opportunity. I’m excited to be a part of the A’s organization.”
I played in the Texas League the last two seasons, so I know a lot of guys who are on that team.”