Utility infielder Eric Sogard and the A’s have avoided arbitration with a one-year, $1.075 million contract.
Sogard requested $1.425 million and the A’s countered at $900,000, so the two sides settled slightly below the midpoint.
Sogard has topped 300 plate appearances for the A’s in each of the past two seasons, but hit just .247 with three homers and a .633 OPS in 247 total games while playing mostly second base during that time. He’s pegged for a smaller role this year.
Jordan Schafer and the Twins have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, $1.55 million deal.
Minnesota claimed Schafer off waivers in early August to take the place of Sam Fuld as their primary backup outfielder and he played his way into regular starts by hitting .285 with 15 steals and a .707 OPS in 41 games.
Schafer is 28 years old and there’s very little evidence of him being able to maintain that sort of production offensively, but he’s very fast and can play all three outfield spots defensively.
When the Cubs acquired Dexter Fowler from the Astros they knew his 2015 salary would be a big one and sure enough the two sides have now avoided arbitration for $9.5 million.
Fowler requested $10.8 million and the Cubs countered at $8.5 million, so they’re settling slightly below the midpoint after giving up Dan Straily and Luis Valbuena for the 30-year-old switch-hitter.
Fowler spent one season in Houston, hitting .276 with eight homers and a .774 OPS in 116 games, and will take over as Chicago’s everyday center fielder with free agency looming next offseason.
Earlier this week Ryan Vogelsong was reportedly close to signing with the Astros and was even in Houston to undergo a physical exam, but he left Texas without a deal in place and now the 37-year-old right-hander is returning to the Giants on a one-year contract.
Vogelsong has been with the Giants since 2011, turning his career around in San Francisco, and made it very clear as soon as the offseason began that he wanted to re-sign.
He was a top-of-the-rotation-caliber starter in 2011 and 2012, but struggled mightily in 2013 and in bouncing back somewhat last season he was merely a decent back-of-the-rotation starter with a 4.00 ERA and 151/58 K/BB ratio in 185 innings. At age 37 that’s likely all the Giants are counting on him for again.