Stephen Vogt calls chance to play with Giants 'lifelong dream of mine'


Stephen Vogt calls chance to play with Giants 'lifelong dream of mine'

Stephen Vogt became a fan favorite in Oakland over his five seasons with the A's. But, his roots have always been in San Francisco as a Giants fan. 

“It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to play for the Giants,” Vogt said to the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s going to come true this year.”

Growing up in Visalia, Vogt and his family ventured to San Francisco every year to watch his two favorite players, Will Clark and Barry Bonds. On Monday, Vogt and the Giants agreed to a minor-league contract, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area.

The 34-year-old catcher arrived in Arizona on Monday night and is expected to take his physical Tuesday when Giants pitchers and catchers report to camp. 

“I’ve kind of had a Christmas-morning feel the whole time since we agreed," Vogt said. 

The Giants have been seeking depth at catcher behind Buster Posey, who underwent hip surgery in August. On the same day they agreed to a deal with Vogt, the team's former backup behind the dish, Nick Hundley, agreed to a deal with the A's.

“The chance to catch alongside Buster and learn from him and work together and help win games, I’m super excited for that,” Vogt said.

[RELATED: Giants show frustration with MLB's slow free agency as offseason ends]

Vogt missed the entire 2018 season as a member of the Brewers as he recovered from shoulder surgery. He told the San Francisco Chronicle that he's throwing nearly 90 percent from 150 feet and nearly 100 percent from 90 feet, though he needs to work more on throwing from the crouch. He's also played 73 games at first base in his career and 21 in the outfield. 

As A's fans chanted "I believe in Stephen Vogt," he became a two-time All-Star in Oakland. Vogt is a career .251 hitter and has 57 home runs to his name.

Why Vladimir Guerrero Jr. MLB debut makes Giants' Bruce Bochy feel old


Why Vladimir Guerrero Jr. MLB debut makes Giants' Bruce Bochy feel old

SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy will spend parts of this season reminiscing as he walks into visiting ballparks for the last time, but all those memories are not the only reminders of how long the Giants' manager has been in the game. 

On Opening Day, the Giants watched the debut of San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr. Bochy played with the 20-year-old's grandfather in the Astros' minor-league system, and managed against teams featuring his father. On Saturday, Bochy watched as Pirates rookie Cole Tucker sunk the Giants with a game-winning two-run homer. Later that night, Jackie Tucker visited Bochy in his office. The two have ties to the same community college in South Florida and Jackie played with Bochy's brother, Joe.

There's a chance this strange tour will continue Tuesday. The Blue Jays are close to bringing up Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is either the top prospect in the game or right behind Tatis Jr. Asked about the possibility in Pittsburgh on Sunday, Bochy smiled. 

"It shows you you're getting old," he cracked. "That's the biggest thing."

Guerrero Jr., 20, hit 20 homers with an OPS over 1.000 while tearing up three levels in the minors last season. An injury -- and service time concerns -- delayed the promotion discussion this spring, but he already has reached base eight times in 20 plate appearances in Triple-A, homering twice. He is ready, but there have been conflicting reports about when he might join the Blue Jays. 

A source said Sunday that Blue Jays players did not think the super-prospect would debut Tuesday. But, Bochy and some others in the Giants clubhouse seemed to think that was a strong possibility. 

[RELATED: Where each MLB team stands right now]

Bochy saw plenty of Vlad Sr. over the years. If he sees the son, it'll continue a theme that includes Bochy's own players, too. Bochy now manages Dereck Rodriguez, son of Pudge, and he managed his own son, Brett, for seven big-league appearances. 

"It's kind of cool to see these kids of ex-teammates and guys I managed against coming up and doing so well," Bochy said. "You see their talent."

What Buster Posey's first homer of 2019 in Giants' win shows Mike Krukow

What Buster Posey's first homer of 2019 in Giants' win shows Mike Krukow

Buster Posey's first home run of the 2019 season was a no-doubter. And it couldn't have come at a better time, plating each of the Giants' runs in a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday. 

With the Giants down 2-0 in the top of the fifth inning Sunday against the Pirates, Posey hit a three-run shot to the farthest part of the ballpark. The catcher crushed a 92-mph fastball from Chris Archer 409 feet to dead-center field at PNC Park. 

"That tells me that his balance is finally in sync," Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow said Monday on KNBR. "With his hip throw, with his hand throw, all of that is in synch. And he can backspin a a ball over center field. That was huge." 

Just as important, Posey's smile was back with his first home run since June of 2018. 

"You could see the look of relief on his face," Krukow said. "It was wonderful."

Even manager Bruce Bochy knows this was a big swing for Posey, who has accomplished pretty much everything anyone can ever dream of in baseball. 

"I'm sure, even for Buster, that some weight is off his shoulders," Bochy said after the game.

The Giants held on for a wild win that snapped a four-game losing streak. They're 2-4 on their current road trip, and play two more games away from home starting Tuesday in Toronto.

[RELATED: MLB power rankings after one month of 2019 season]

"Getting Buster back, getting his confidence back in his swing, and winning the way they did in a comeback victory -- to salvage a game -- that's a huge win for this team," Krukow said.