Red Sox Free Agency: Eric Sogard could offer inexpensive utility depth

Sep 29, 2020; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Eric Sogard (7) throws the ball during a workout prior to the National Wild Card playoffs at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 29, 2020; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Eric Sogard (7) throws the ball during a workout prior to the National Wild Card playoffs at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Red Sox need some depth and Eric Sogard offers a solution

To say that this offseason has been moving at a snail’s pace would be a vast understatement. We all knew that the baseball world would be cautious with its spending due to the COVID ravaged revenues of this past season, but this has gone beyond that. For the Red Sox, a winter of moderate spending was on the docket but they’ve yet to loosen the purse strings to fix the gaps in the lineup.

We’ve all spoken about how the pitching needs the most attention while other positions such as second base and the outfield also need some love. While Boston did recently sign Hunter Renfroe to be the defacto right-fielder, they could still use some more depth on the roster. As I searched up and down the MLBTR Free-Agent List, one name popped up numerous times, Eric Sogard.

One year ago I wrote about the Red Sox needing to pick-up Sogard in last year’s free agency window to fill the void at second base. As the problem is still persisting within the Boston infield, he’s once again on my radar. In 2020, he played games at second, short, third, and left field, while getting time in right field back in 2019.

He posted a 1.000/.941/.962 FLD%’s respectively this year, meaning he could absolutely help this Boston infield. Add in his ten years of service and he brings a veteran voice to a team that is getting increasingly younger each year, especially around the diamond. For the Red Sox, he offers something that they lack right now and that’s a guy that can comfortably be placed almost anywhere in the lineup and get the job done.

Now, Sogard won’t light up the offensive stat sheets but that’s not why he’d be here, plus the Red Sox don’t really need help in that department. Sogard’s .209/.281/.278/.560 line was down significantly from previous seasons, but it’s difficult to look at 2020 as anything but an anomaly. Even with the rough showing this past season the veteran can still be an asset to Boston. Having the versatility to bounce around the infield as well as the outfield makes him a strong weapon for Alex Cora.

I know some of you may be asking why I’m not turning the light toward Brock Holt in this scenario and that’s a fair question. Holt was a recent guest on the “Section-10 Podcast” and he hinted that though he’s heard from some teams he hasn’t heard from the one he was waiting for, Boston. The former Red Sox utilityman didn’t seem to enjoy his time with either club he was employed by in 2020 and would’ve much rather been with Boston.

Holt had a rough go of it this past season and it may be why Chaim Bloom has yet to reach out to the second baseman. Though Red Sox Nation and the team would more than likely take him back with open arms, I just don’t know if it’s in the cards for Brock and Boston at this juncture. This is why I went down the road with Sogard once again. As much as I’d love to see the only man to hit for the cycle in the postseason back at Fenway Park, it feels like the two sides aren’t reading the same book.

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We know that Bloom is going to do his best to find bargain solutions to the team’s needs and he’s had a few successes with that method during his tenure. Adding Sogard would allow him to stick to his budget-conscious methodology while bringing in a skilled veteran to balance his lineup. Oh yeah, let’s not forget, the infielder spent time in Tampa for the second half of the 2019 season, getting some time with Bloom. Even if the duo didn’t have many interactions, Chaim still has a strong relationship with his former club and could get some solid intel.

With Sogard’s age increasing and stats decreasing, now may be the time for the Red Sox to strike a deal to lock-up a veteran talent for the right price. Something along the lines of a two-year/$6M deal may be enough to get him to the club and by the organization enough time to get top prospect Jeter Downs ready to get the call-up.

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I’ve always been a fan of Sogard and it feels like whenever he played against the Red Sox he just smashed them with ease. So I wouldn’t mind getting a guy like that on the other side of the fence and adding him to the roster. Plus he’s spent time with two AL East squads recently so he’s more than familiar with the landscape of the division. For Chaim Bloom and Boston, Sogard would be the perfect fit at the right price in a time where the club needs both.