The San Francisco Giants could once again find themselves searching for a backup catcher this offseason. Will Stephen Vogt return?
After trying out several veteran options during spring training, the team broke camp with Erik Kratz filling the backup catcher role, while Vogt reported to Triple-A Sacramento.
It made sense to send the two-time All-Star to the minors to start the year as he continued to shake off the rust from a 2018 season that was lost to shoulder surgery.
With Kratz not producing and Vogt hitting .241/.389/.500 with four home runs in 18 games in the minors, it didn’t take long for the team to make the switch.
Vogt made his Giants debut in grand fashion on May 3, going 3-for-3 with a double and a home run in an extra-inning victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
He continued producing all season and wound up being one of the best backup catchers in baseball, hitting .263/.314/.490 with 24 doubles, 10 home runs and 40 RBI in 280 plate appearances. His 1.2 WAR was well worth the $453,568 salary figure he took home.
At 34 years old, Vogt is not going to cash in with a lucrative long-term deal in free agency, but he should be able to find a guaranteed MLB contract this time around.
Will that contract come from the San Francisco Giants?
It doesn’t sound promising:
Even the most optimistic of fans would have a hard time calling the 2020 Giants a World Series contender. This team is still in the early stages of retooling the roster, and while they will likely be busy this offseason, this is not a team that is one or two pieces away from a title run.
If catching on with a World Series contender is the No. 1 priority for Vogt this offseason, which is totally fair given his age and the fact that he’s still searching for his first ring, it looks like 2019 will be his one and only season with the Giants.
That’s baseball. He was one of the pleasant surprises of 2019 and a welcome veteran voice in a young clubhouse, and he’s earned the chance to suit up for a contender as his career reaches the homestretch.