The Athletics are continuing to shake things up, announcing on Thursday morning that they’ve designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
With the A’s floundering and possessing the worst record in the American League at 31-41, they’re fully embracing a youth movement. They designated veteran infielder Trevor Plouffe for assignment last week, and Vogt followed him out the door on Thursday after losing his starting spot to Josh Phegley in recent weeks. Bruce Maxwell was recalled to take his place on the 25-man roster.
Vogt, 32, made the AL All-Star team in each of the past two seasons, but he struggled out of the gates this season, hitting .217/.287/.357 with four homers over 174 plate appearances. For his career, he has a .251/.312/.409 slash line with 49 home runs in 1,679 plate appearances.
While he’s a less-than-stellar defensive catcher, Vogt has the capability to be an ultra-valuable bench piece, as he can also fill in at first base and the corner outfield spots. He’d represent an upgrade at the backup catcher spot for nearly every contender, and because of his versatility he’d be particularly useful to any club that operates with an expanded pitching staff and short bench.
Oakland now has seven days to trade, release or outright Vogt. Since he’s making just $2.965 million this season and has two more seasons of club control remaining, it’s certainly possible that Oakland could find a trade partner. They already swung a deal for a player they designated for assignment earlier this month, flipping Plouffe to the Rays for cash considerations or a player to be named later.