Dodgers: Two Former All-Stars the Dodgers Missed Out on
Stephen Vogt, Catcher
The first player I want to bring up is Stephen Vogt. A left-handed hitting catcher and two-time All-Star, Vogt sat out last season after a shoulder injury ended his season with the Brewers.
Vogt has hit well in every season he has played since becoming a major league mainstay in 2014. After hitting 9 home runs with a .279 average in 84 games back in 2014 with the Oakland Athletics, the A’s gave him a full-time role in 2015 and 2016. He earned All-Star honors in both of these seasons.
The 6’0, 225-pound catcher hit played in 136 and 137 games in these two seasons respectively, by far the highest marks of his career and very solid marks for any catcher. In his best season, the 2015 campaign, Vogt smacked 18 home runs and hit .261 with a 2.4 WAR and a 114 WRC+.
While in 2016 his overall production dipped, Vogt still was named an AL All-Star, finishing with 14 homers and a 1.7 WAR with a sub-100 WRC+. Vogt did not get a starting role with the Brewers in 2017, he remained a big part of the team off the field, not losing the characters that make him valuable as a team leader, with his best moment coming in the Brewers’ “Sandlot” parody.
In 2017, Vogt’s last season, the catcher played in just 99 games. But despite just 303 plate appearances, the now-34 year old hit 12 home runs, but hit just .233 and had a -0.4 WAR. While he may be diminished and past his prime, he was an above-average hitter at a position that does not hold many solid bats as recently as 2016.
In 2017, Vogt made just under $3 million ($2,965,000) after having made around $500,000 per season for most of his career. After missing all of 2018 with an injured shoulder, the San Francisco Giants only had to pay Vogt a fraction of the $3 million he made only two seasons ago, and while the number has not been disclosed, it most likely is around the $500,000 per season he made earlier on in his career.
The Dodgers finished this offseason up with two MLB-caliber catchers in Austin Barnes and Russell Martin, both of whom are right-handed. As a left-handed hitter, Vogt could have provided the Dodgers a true platoon at catcher at a very low cost. Vogt hit all12 of his home runs against in 2017 off of righties.
Over his full career, Vogt has hit far better against righties than against lefties, and if he could only face righties for the remainder of his career, the time off and the more beneficial matchup could not only help the veteran revamp his career, but also could have helped the Dodgers. Instead, he will be helping spell Buster Posey for the Giants.