The Cubs have agreed to a minor league contract with veteran infielder Eric Sogard, reports ESPN’s Jesse Rogers (Twitter link). The Octagon client figures to join their Major League camp as a non-roster invitee.
The 34-year-old Sogard has spent three of the past four years with the division-rival Brewers and been quite productive in two of those four seasons. Poor showings in 2018 and 2020 have weighed down Sogard’s production overall, but dating back to 2017 he’s a .257/.343/.377 hitter (93 wRC+) in just shy of 1000 plate appearances.
Sogard has never offered any pop at the plate outside of 2019’s juiced-ball season, but he’s posted a strong 10.8 percent walk rate over the past four years while striking out at just a 14.6 percent clip. He’s regarded as a strong defender at second base but also has experience playing shortstop and third base, making him at least a potential bench piece for the Cubs.
Former first-round pick Nico Hoerner and utilityman David Bote give the Cubs a pair of second base options on the 40-man roster, but Hoerner struggled quite a bit in 2020, hitting just .222/.312/.259 in 126 plate appearances. A strong showing in camp could still put him in position to seize the Opening Day role, but Sogard’s left-handed bat would make for a natural pairing with the right-handed-hitting Bote if Hoerner continues to look overmatched this spring.