News just broke that the Milwaukee Brewers have been awarded the waiver claim of former Oakland A’s catcher Stephen Vogt. So what does this mean for the team and for the current catching corps?
Vogt was designated for assignment on Thursday by Oakland after batting .217/.287/.357 on the season. The low production from Vogt is unusual. For the past couple of years he’s been an above average offensive player. Vogt has been an All Star the each of the past two seasons.
So why did Oakland get rid of Vogt? He’s been productive for the past few seasons and is a respected leader in the clubhouse. He’s not as good at the plate this year, but it surprised a lot of people to see Vogt get DFA’ed.
Vogt still has two years remaining of team control and is making slightly less than $3 million this season. The Milwaukee Brewers were the only team to put in a claim of Vogt.
Regardless of the reasons, the 32-year old Vogt is now a member of the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
So what does this mean for the team?
Will he go to Colorado Springs first or will he join the Major League club right away? Vogt fills the final available spot on the 40-man roster.
It’s currently unclear as to what the plan is but it’s safe to assume that Vogt would have a spot on the 25-man roster. Perhaps a change of scenery is best for Vogt.
Manny Pina has been doing an excellent job both behind the plate and on offense and he seems to have set himself apart as the starting catcher over Jett Bandy. Bandy, meanwhile, could be in trouble.
Bandy’s struggles at the plate could be his downfall and the Milwaukee Brewers could be looking to make a change. With the Brewers trying to hang on to the division lead, Bandy’s struggles could force the Brewers to address the backup catcher position.
Luckily for the Milwaukee Brewers, Bandy still has a Minor League option remaining. He will likely head to Colorado Springs for regular playing time and a chance to fix his issues.
Vogt hasn’t been very good defensively and teams like to run on him. He’s a below average pitch framer as well. If he can hit the way he did during his two All-Star campaigns, it should make up for it. Vogt is most likely going to be the backup when he gets to Milwaukee and as a lefty hitter, will get a spot in the lineup when pitching matchups work in his favor. While his defensive metrics are poor, Vogt has value as a great clubhouse presence and a veteran leader.
With the Brewers still in first place, the team is looking to make some small additions to continue contending and Vogt fits in perfectly. He’s from a similar situation that Nick Franklin was in, as a player who produced offensively in the past but has struggled lately and was DFA’ed.
The Brewers have made plenty of claims off the waiver wire that have turned into productive players for the team. Players like Jesus Aguilar, Junior Guerra, Nick Franklin, Hernan Perez, Eric Sogard, and Carlos Torres have all come off a scrap heap and turned into productive players for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Stephen Vogt should join the Brewers in Cincinnati, while Jett Bandy heads to Colorado Springs after the game on Sunday. Expect a return for both Ryan Braun and Jonathan Villar before the series against the Reds. A flurry of roster moves is likely in the next 24 hours.