Giants

Popular former Giants catcher Stephen Vogt signs contract with D-backs

Popular former Giants catcher Stephen Vogt signs contract with D-backs

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will see plenty of Stephen Vogt next season, but not in the way most in the organization had hoped. 

Vogt has signed a one-year contract with the rival Arizona Diamondbacks that includes a vesting option for a second year, the D-backs announced Tuesday. ESPN's Jeff Passan was first to report that there was an agreement in place. 

Vogt was coming off shoulder surgery when he signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. The veteran catcher ended up being one of the better stories of the season. Vogt posted a .804 OPS in 99 appearances, with 10 homers, 24 doubles and 40 RBI. His defense was better than the Giants initially anticipated, and for much of the second half Vogt was essentially in a timeshare with starter Buster Posey. 

Vogt was very popular with a fan base that first saw him across the bay in Oakland, and the same held true in a clubhouse that adopted his technical foul celebration when the Giants went on a run in July. The team's young pitchers particularly gravitated towards Vogt, who worked with many of them in Sacramento early in the season. 

Vogt enjoyed his time in San Francisco and talked at times of coming back, but he also wanted to play for a team that would give him a shot to contend, and the Diamondbacks should be able to offer a much more solid role.

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The Giants have top prospect Joey Bart coming fast, and he should be up at some point in the 2020 season. They don't have much catching depth at the moment, but Aramis Garcia has experience at the big league level and can serve as Posey's backup. The more likely scenario -- given that Farhan Zaidi added Vogt, Tom Murphy, Erik Kratz and others last spring -- is that another veteran catcher or three is brought in before camp starts in February. 

Where new Giants prospect Will Wilson ranks in team's farm system

Where new Giants prospect Will Wilson ranks in team's farm system

The Giants essentially bought veteran infielder Zack Cozart's contract from the Angels on Tuesday to add a talented young prospect.

San Francisco acquired Cozart and middle infield prospect Will Wilson from the Angels for a player to be named later or cash. The Giants are taking on all of Cozart's $12.67 million contract for the 2020 season. Cozart will become a free agent in 2021. The 34-year-old, who has hit just .190 with five home runs the last two seasons, was an All-Star when healthy in 2017, but Wilson is the real prize of the deal. 

Wilson was selected No. 15 overall by the Angels in the 2019 MLB Draft. He immediately became a top-10 Giants prospect after the trade. MLB Pipeline ranks him No. 10 overall in the team's farm system, and FanGraphs has him even higher. 

The 21-year-old hit .275 with a .768 OPS and five home runs in 46 games at rookie ball in his debut season. He played 28 games at shortstop and 13 at second base. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said Wilson will play both positions in the minor leagues, and the front office believes he will stick as a middle infielder. 

[RELATED: New Giants prospect Wilson already hates rival Dodgers]

Wilson was a consensus All-American as a junior at NC State, and was voted ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He hit .352 with nine homers and a 1.089 OPS in his final season for the Wolfpack. 

Prior to being traded to the Giants, Wilson was ranked as the Angels' No. 4 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He comes in lower with San Francisco, showing how much the Giants' farm system is on the rise with top prospects like Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos, Marco Luciano and others. 

MLB rumors: Didi Gregorius chose Phillies over Giants due to Joe Girardi

MLB rumors: Didi Gregorius chose Phillies over Giants due to Joe Girardi

The Giants added a veteran shortstop Tuesday when they acquired Zack Cosart and prospect Will Wilson in a trade with the Angels for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Wilson was the prize of the deal, but there remains a possibility that Cozart could play a considerable role in San Francisco's middle infield this coming season.

As it turns out, though, the Giants reportedly went after a different veteran shortstop before pursuing the trade with the Angels. Didi Gregorius signed a one-year, $14 million contract with the Phillies on Tuesday, and according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury, Gregorius reportedly chose them over the Giants in part due to the presence of Phillies manager Joe Girardi.

Gregorius previously played under Girardi with the Yankees, and it would appear they enjoyed their time together. While his offensive numbers might have been inflated somewhat by Yankee Stadium, Gregorius remains a standout defender and he was worth at least four WAR in both 2017 and 2018.

[RELATED: New Giants prospect Wilson already hates rival Dodgers]

The Giants absorbed the entirety of the $12.67 remaining on Cozart's contract, so there isn't much of a price difference between he and Gregorius. That said, the fact that San Francisco was able to acquire the Angels' No. 4 ranked prospect along with Cozart likely made that the more prudent acquisition.