Brewers Signing Eric Sogard, Who Was Great in 2019

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Brewers Signing Eric Sogard, Who Was Great in 2019

Chicago Cubs

Before he became a vogue launch-angle darling in 2019, Eric Sogard had totally collapsed with the Brewers in 2018. Solid for them 2017 after a run of being a “merely useful” utility guy with the A’s, Sogard slashed an unthinkable .134/.241/.165 and the Brewers let him go.

That sparked a reinvention, as these things sometimes do, and Sogard wound up exploding offensively for the Blue Jays and Rays in 2019 at age 33, making himself a very valuable utility man in the process. And, having parted ways with Hernan Perez (who wound up with the Cubs on a minor league deal), the Brewers were back in the market for a guy like Sogard … so why not just reunite:

In 2019, Sogard wound up hitting .290/.353/.457 with a 115 wRC+. His BABIP and ISO were waaaaaay up, which might look like flukey red flags, but he also dramatically increased his fly ball rate, bumped up his hard contact rate, dropped his strikeout rate a ton, and also saw his walk rate shrink a bit – he was swinging more, and making a lot better contact.

The question is, did Sogard make such fundamental changes that he can carry them over with success into his age 34 season? Daniel Descalso had that same kind of trajectory/transformation before the Cubs signed him, and, well, it did not carry over.

Sogard provides additional infield cover for the Brewers, who now have a mishmash of options around the horn, with only Keston Hiura locked into his spot at second base. Others include Ryon Healy, Luis Urias, Orlando Arcia, Ronny Rodriguez, and Ryan Braun (at first base). It is a “volume” approach.

The Cubs reportedly wanted Sogard, but …

I tend to think it’s not a literal truth that the Cubs cannot add whatever modest dollars Sogard will be making, but instead that they aren’t eager to do so for a guy like Sogard until other deals are made.

UPDATE: Here’s the dollar figure, which, as we guessed, is not that much … but is also more than I would’ve wanted the Cubs to spend anyway, so:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.