Free agent backstop Stephen Vogt has scheduled a workout this week, according to ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan (via Twitter). Back in December, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reported (Twitter link) that Vogt was planning to play in 2019.
Uncertainty had arisen in the wake of major shoulder surgery that cost the 34-year-old the entirety of the 2018 season. With at least seven clubs reportedly showing some level of interest, and Vogt’s recovery evidently going well, he obviously decided to proceed with a comeback attempt.
The outlook remains unclear for Vogt, a late-blooming performer who was for a brief stretch among the game’s best-hitting catchers. Though he was never considered a standout defender, and generally struggled against left-handed pitching, Vogt thrived against righties (in 2014 and 2015, particularly) with the A’s. He landed with the Brewers after a rough opening to the 2017 season, ultimately turning in a solid run — .254/.281/.508 with eight home runs in 129 plate appearances — to end the year.
The Milwaukee organization thought enough of Vogt’s prospects to agree to a $3.065MM salary with him for the 2018 campaign, though that did fall well shy of his projected arbitration earning capacity. It seems likely that Vogt will have to settle for a minor-league deal after his long layoff, particularly since it’s still not clear whether he’ll be ready to be a full participant in camp, though his workout will assuredly go a long way toward determining the offers he receives. Vogt will presumably hold the most appeal to teams that like the idea of bolstering their bench with a powerful, lefty hitter who is capable of suiting up behind the dish.