With the Oakland A’s needing help in the middle of their infield, it may be time for Eric Sogard to return home.
Chances are, the middle of the Oakland A’s infield will look different on Opening Day in 2021. Both Marcus Semien and Tommy La Stella are free agents, leaving the A’s without a clear answer at either position. Second base may well be a platoon between Tony Kemp and Chad Pinder once again, but that did not exactly work last season.
Likewise, the A’s do not have clear answer at short. While there are potential internal options moving forward, especially Nick Allen and Robert Pauson, neither may be ready for the 2021 season. The A’s will need to find someone at either position.
One potential option could be former Oakland infielder Eric Sogard. He had spent six years with the A’s as a utility player, showing occasional flashes with the bat, but working best as a bench option before missing most of the 2016 season due to knee surgery.
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Since that time, Sogard has been an interesting player. He has been above average in 2017 and 2019 offensively. He posted a career best 103 OPS+ in 2017, only to easily surpass that season in 2019. That year, Sogard produced a .290/.353/.457 batting line with 13 homers and 23 doubles, showing far more power than he had at any point in his professional career.
However, that production did not carry over to the even numbered seasons. 2020 was not an exception, as Sogard struggled in his second stint with the Brewers. Over the course of his 128 plate appearances, he produced a meager .209/.281/.278 batting line, hitting just one homer and five doubles.
If the A’s were to take a chance on Sogard, they would obviously be hoping for more of his odd year magic. At the very least, he would not cost much financially, as teams could shy away from the 34 year old utility man. That combination of minimal financial commitment and defensive versatility could be what the A’s need to fill out their roster.
The Oakland A’s need to find someone that could slot in at either middle infield position. Eric Sogard may not be a star, but he could be an option.