Ahead of Wednesday’s MLB Trade Deadline, the Tampa Bay Rays have moved early for a player in the opposite dugout this afternoon: utility man Eric Sogard.
Even a cursory glance at Sogard reveals a very Rays-type of player, having covered Second and Third Base, Short Stop, and Left and Right Field this season. With the Rays having their starting Second and Third basemen injured, he can slot right in.
There also appears to have been a bidding war for Sogard, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan who reported the news. The bespectacled, left handed hitter has had balanced, positive results against both hands of pitching this year, batting a 127 wRC+ vs LHP (which would rank sixth best on the Rays) and 121 wRC+ against RHP (tied for fifth on the Rays).
Overall, Sogard is batting .300/.363/.477 with 14.6% K, 9.0% BB, 10 HR (29 XBH), and has been worth 2.2 WAR. Thanks to that positional versatility, Sogard will be a starter for the Rays throughout the rest of the season.
Sogard is currently giving out hugs in the Blue Jays dugout. We will update this article once the return is known, but RHP Ian Gibaut is reasonably expected to be part of the return for Toronto.
Previously this year, the Rays drafted Eric Sogard’s cousin Nick Sogard in the 12th round of the MLB draft (368 overall). The younger Sogard is batting .304/.407/.339 with four doubles in 135 PA for the Hudson Valley Renegades.
UPDATE - 2:16 PM
Ian Gibaut has been traded... to the Texas Rangers. He will not be part of the Sogard return.
#Rays are trading RH Ian Gibaut to Texas Rangers for PTBNL— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 28, 2019
Instead, the Rays and Jays settled on two players to be named later.