The Brewers have avoided arbitration with catcher Stephen Vogt by agreeing to a $3.065MM salary for the 2018 campaign, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). Vogt had been mentioned as a potential non-tender candidate but will remain with the Brew Crew in 2018 and has one more year of arbitration eligibility beyond that.
That Vogt received a minimal $100K raise on last year’s $2.965MM salary — MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected him at $3.9MM — suggests that the Brewers did indeed weigh a non-tender of the 33-year-old. Many clubs figure to offer deals with extremely modest raises (or, in some instances, salary cuts) to their borderline tender candidates between now and tonight’s 8pm ET deadline. Final offers may effectively be presented in “take it or leave it” fashion, with the “leave it” option resulting in a non-tender.
Vogt figures to head into 2018 as the backup to Manny Pina after the 30-year-old Pina cemented himself as Milwaukee’s top catching option. Pina comes with a limited track record, though, and Vogt was a steady regular with the A’s for a few years, so it’s possible he could eventually step into a larger role.
This past season, Vogt hit just .217/.287/.357 in 174 plate appearances with the A’s, ultimately leading Oakland to designate the fan favorite and clubhouse leader for assignment. He stepped up his power game in a brief sample with the Brewers upon being claimed off waivers, hitting .254/.281/.508 with seven big flies in 129 trips to the plate. Overall, Vogt’s .233/.285/.423 slash and 12 homers were passable for a catcher, though he also struggled with just a 13 percent caught-stealing rate. Baseball Prospectus did credit him with the best framing marks of his career, grading him decidedly above average in that regard.
With Vogt’s situation resolved, the Brewers now have six other players eligible for arbitration in the form of Jared Hughes, Jeremy Jeffress, Jonathan Villar, Jimmy Nelson, Hernan Perez and Corey Knebel. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel suggested last night that Jeffress and Hughes are the team’s remaining non-tender candidates.