The Diamondbacks signed veteran catcher Stephen Vogt to a one-year deal with an option for a second season, a deal that gives them an offensive-minded, left-handed-hitting complement to frontline catcher Carson Kelly.
Vogt, 35, is coming off a strong season with the San Francisco Giants, for whom he hit .263/.314/.490 with 10 homers while serving as Buster Posey’s backup. It was an impressive bounceback year for a player who feared his career was in jeopardy when he underwent shoulder surgery in 2018, missing that season entirely.
Vogt’s deal guarantees him $3 million. It calls for a $2.5 million salary for 2020 and a $500,000 buyout on a $3 million club option for 2021. A source said Vogt also could trigger the option depending on playing time, with the value of the option climbing the more he plays in 2020.
Vogt brings the Diamondbacks some demonstrated traits, primarily in the batter’s box against right-handed pitching.
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A left-handed hitter, he has logged a .763 OPS against righties in his seven-year career, including posting an .835 mark last season. That makes him a logical fit with the right-handed-hitting Kelly.
“This is one spot — it’s not covering for the entire offense here — but we’re looking for any incremental edges in this area we can get to continue to drive it forward,” Diamondbacks General Manager Mike Hazen said. “We need to continue to push our offense in any way that we can.”
In addition to catching, Vogt also has logged limited time at both outfield positions and first base. Though he probably won’t play anywhere but behind the plate very often, the flexibility opens up options for manager Torey Lovullo.
Vogt also is known for being a positive, hard-working, intelligent presence on the field and in the clubhouse.