The Cubs announced Friday that they’ve designated veteran infielder Eric Sogard for assignment in order to open a roster spot for fellow infield veteran Matt Duffy, who has been reinstated from the 60-day injured list.
Sogard, 35, signed a minor league deal over the winter but has made his way into 78 games with the Cubs and tallied 180 plate appearances. He’s seen time at second base, where he has a lengthy track record as a plus defender, and third base for the Cubs this season but managed only a .249/.283/.314 batting line at the plate.
Sogard had a strong showing as recently as 2019, when he hit .290/.353/.457 in 442 plate appearances, but he’s struggled both in 2020 and in 2021. The Cubs will have a week to trade him, place him on outright waivers or release him. He has enough service time to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency if/when he clears waivers.
Duffy, another minor league signee, has been out since late May with a lower back strain. When healthy, the 30-year-old had proven to be a nice buy-low pickup for the Cubs, batting .278/.377/.356 and playing top-notch defense at the hot corner. It’s a nice start to what would be a rebound from injury-plagued stretch for the former Giants/Rays infielder. He’ll be a free agent at season’s end, and while the Cubs may elect to keep him around and stabilize the roster after an expected flurry of trades in the coming days, it’s also possible that a club in need of some bench depth might look at a healthy Duffy as an intriguing addition in his own right.