The Milwaukee Brewers are certainly making today a busy World Series off day. Earlier today the club announced that they were signing Chase Anderson to a two-year extension with two club options, and this afternoon they announced yet another move for the 2018 season:
Sogard, who will turn 32 next season, joined the Brewers as a minor league signee last winter. He did not make the club out of spring training, but was called up in May and spent the rest of the season in the big leagues. He wound up playing in 94 games and enjoyed the best offensive season of his career, batting .273/.393/.378 with 3 home runs and 3 stolen bases across 299 plate appearances. He walked in 15.1% of his plate appearances while striking out just 12.4% of the time, and posted a career-best 26.3% hard contact rate.
Sogard got off to scorching start during his first two months, but missed some with a left ankle injury in July and wasn’t the same player offensively upon his return. He managed only a .586 OPS across his final 137 plate appearances on the year. He owned a .609 OPS in parts of 7 seasons with the Athletics prior to coming to Milwaukee.
Still, the bespectacled utilityman is a versatile, veteran player that the organization clearly likes. He spent most of his time at second base, shortstop, and a little bit of third base, and graded out positively at all those positions in 2017 according to Defensive Runs Saved. He and his family have become big fans of the organization and the Milwaukee area as well. When asked why he opted not to enter free agency, as he would have been eligible to following the conclusion of the World Series, he told reporters “it’s an organization I came to love, from the front office down” and “I think special things are coming in the future here. It’s something I want to be a part of.”
Per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, Sogard’s one-year deal will pay him a base salary of $2.4 mil. He can also earn another $650K in incentives to push the deal over the $3 mil threshold is they all are achieved. He’s been given no guarantees in terms of playing time (specifically at second base, where the club has a need) but he seems likely to reprise his role as a left-handed utility infielder off the bench.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs