The Brewers have claimed catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN (on Twitter). Milwaukee was the only team to put in a claim for Vogt, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The 32-year-old Vogt had been in limbo since the A’s designated him for assignment on Thursday. Moving on from the respected clubhouse leader was a difficult decision for Oakland, but the club deemed it necessary after Vogt batted just .217/.287/.357 over 174 plate appearances. That was a steep drop-off for Vogt, who served as a better-than-average offensive catcher from 2013-16, when he combined for a .260/.319/.423 line in 1,478 trips to the plate and earned All-Star nods in each of the previous two seasons.
Defensively, Vogt has struggled behind the plate as a pitch framer throughout his career (per Baseball Prospectus). Vogt hasn’t fared well at keeping would-be base stealers at bay this year, either, having thrown out just 15 percent of runners. However, he did hover around the league-average mark in prior seasons.
In the aggregate, Brewers catchers Manny Pina and Jett Bandy have offered better production than Vogt this year, having combined to slash .250/.307/.416 in 323 PAs. But both have come down to earth at the plate since hot starts, and Bandy has been especially poor lately (he’s hitting .053 this month). Bandy’s also giving the Brewers subpar production behind the plate and, unlike Pina, has a minor league option remaining. As such, it appears he’ll head to Triple-A, which would leave the righty-swinging Pina and the left-handed Vogt to work in a timeshare.
A resurgence from Vogt could help the surprising Brewers stay in the playoff hunt this season (they’re a half-game up on the Cubs for the NL Central lead), but he also comes with further team control. Vogt, who’s earning an affordable $2.965MM salary this season, is scheduled to take two more trips through arbitration.