Veteran catcher Stephen Vogt was designated for assignment by the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, perhaps signaling the team’s intention to throw in the towel on the 2017 season.
John Hickey of the East Bay Times reports that move was a shocker inside the clubhouse to virtually everyone except Vogt, who’d seen his productivity and playing time decline.
“I could see it coming,” Vogt said. “There was the infrequent playing time in what would be good matchups for me.
“It’s something I understand, although I don’t like it. It’s definitely news that hit (wife) Alyssa very hard. Oakland is a place we love. It’s a place we watched our family grow. We had success here as a family and as a team. We’ve developed a lot of relationships that will last.”
Though the A’s have the worst record in the American League, they start play Thursday just 6½ games out of the second wild card slot – not an impossible deficit to make up in the season’s remaining three-plus months. Nevertheless, they would need to leapfrog nine teams to claim one of the junior circuit’s two wild card berths.
Vogt, who joined Oakland at the start of the 2013 season, was wildly popular in the A’s clubhouse. Former teammate Josh Reddick, now playing with the Astros, told Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle, “It’s kind of hard to imagine a clubhouse without him over there. Although I’m gone I feel like I’m still hurting with those guys over the move.”
With several contenders in need of an upgrade at first base, A’s first baseman Yonder Alonso, already having established a new career high with 17 home runs, could be dealt before the July 31 trade deadline.