Two familiar faces found a new home in Milwaukee this week, as former Oakland A’s favorites Eric Sogard and Tommy Milone both signed deals with the Brewers. Milone received a one-year contract and a slot on the 40-man roster, while Sogard is on a minor league pact with a non-roster invite to spring training.
This news isn’t relevant to the A’s, but it’s noteworthy for the fans. Sogard was a big favorite here and enjoyed as long of a tenure as any player does in Oakland, from 2010-16 (though he missed all of 2016 to injury). He wasn’t a star or even an everyday guy, but he played a key role on a couple playoff teams and certainly had his moments on the field. Add in a ton of hustle and a great attitude, plus his trademark glasses, and Sogard was a consistent and beloved presence regardless of what his numbers looked like. It will surely be weird seeing him in a different uniform, whenever he next reaches MLB.
The Brewers middle infield currently includes Jonathan Villar (3+ WAR last year), Orlando Arcia (recent Top 10 overall prospect), Scooter Gennett (backup 2B), and utilityman Hernan Perez. That probably doesn’t leave any room for Sogard just yet, with Gennett in particular seeming to make him redundant, but, y’know. Stuff happens, and Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that Sogard has more defensive versatility than Gennett.
Meanwhile, Milone is a bit further removed from his time in Oakland. He was mediocre at best in parts of three seasons with the Twins, but he’s a lefty who can throw strikes and that’s a great starting point for a resume. He’ll only be 30 years old next season, and he still puts up absolutely stupid K/BB numbers in Triple-A (88/7 the last two years combined), so a rebuilding team like Milwaukee could do worse in terms of some fifth starter depth.
The Brewers’ official site lists Milone 7th in their rotation’s depth chart. However, note that only two of the pitchers ahead of him posted an ERA+ over 100 last year, so the competition isn’t stiff. The remaining four below-average guys include names such as Wily Peralta and ... hold on, what’s this? ... no, it can’t be ... the Brewers have Matt Garza. And now they have Eric Sogard too.
If you don’t remember where I’m going with this, think back to 2013. Sogard laid down a squeeze bunt against then-Ranger Garza, who is infamous for his inability to make a throw to first base. Garza did record the out this time, but the play still resulted in a run and for some reason he took substantial umbrage to Sogard’s completely fair and normal strategy (link to video). Things got weird, and by the end of it Garza was talking smack to Sogard’s wife Kaycee on Twitter. Click here for the full story.
Those guys are teammates now. Go home 2016, you’re drunk.
In conclusion, here is Bartolo Colon recording what I pray is the trailer for a new line of home workout videos titled Colon Busters: How to throw 90 mph at any age.
Bart and you’re there.