Earlier this winter, Clint Robinson was on track for his third consecutive season at Class AAA Omaha.

Never mind the minor league first baseman's performance over the previous two years. Eric Hosmer, one of the game's most promising young hitters, stood in his way.

Robinson's trade to the Pirates opened the door to a new opportunity. He is one of several recent additions who will compete for a roster spot in spring training.

Right-handers Vin Mazzaro and Zach Stewart, left-hander Andrew Oliver and first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands fall into the same category.

While Mazzaro fights for a spot in the bullpen, Stewart, Oliver and Jeanmar Gomez, acquired Wednesday via trade, likely will serve as depth in Class AAA with an outside chance at making the rotation.

They could replace an injured starter or earn a spot if they pitch well in spring training and Jeff Locke or Kyle McPherson struggle.

Sands and Robinson will compete for a bench spot behind Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez.

Robinson, Stewart, Oliver and Sands have minor league options remaining, while Mazzaro and Gomez do not.

The Royals told Robinson they would do their best to trade him after designating him for assignment Nov. 20 along with Mazzaro.

"I had kind of run into an opportunity to start with a new organization because I was kind of stuck in Kansas City," said Robinson, who joined the Pirates along with Mazzaro from the Royals in late November.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/pirates/pirates-prospects-from-trades-attempt-to-show-they-belong-669910/#ixzz2Hh0EGiOi