Eric Sogard Traded to Tampa Bay Rays
Neither team has deemed the trade official as of press time, but Sogard had been asked to switch dugouts in the midst of the Sunday matinee in Toronto. The details of the trade have also not been made official. The prevailing thought, however, is that the return for Sogard will not include a major league player.
Even with the recent addition of Sogard to Tampa Bay, the prevailing thought heading into the series was that he would be a Ray. There were a lot of teams in on Sogard talks before the Rays became the ultimate target, as noted by ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Sogard has had quite the journey to where he is today. The Arizona State University product was drafted in the second round of the 2007 draft by the San Diego Padres. His first appearance at the major league level came with the Oakland Athletics in 2010. He stayed with the A’s through 2015 before a neck injury sidelined him for most of the 2016 season. From there, he spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons in Milwaukee before making his way to Toronto. Sogard has a career batting average of .247 with 155 RBI. The utility man extraordinaire also has a career OPS of .657 and a career WAR of 6.8.
The interest level for Sogard preceded his arrival in Tampa, as noted by Last Word On Baseball’s Justin Merrlles. The 33-year-old has proven his versatility with significant playing time at second base, shortstop, and the outfield. The Rays are in need of a productive utility man, and that might be the reason they went for Sogard despite a need for a right-handed bat.
Sogard’s 2019 season has been just what he needed to put himself on the map. He entered the weekend batting .300 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI. Sogard has produced career highs in batting average, slugging (.477), and on-base percentage (.363). (This excludes his first two seasons, where, combined, he had 83 plate appearances.) Sogard has also produced his best single-season WAR mark of 2.0.
Overall, Sogard is a hot bat that can give the Rays flexibility in the field. His low-cost contract makes him a great value and gives Tampa Bay financial flexibility to get a big-time right-handed bat.
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