The Cubs have agreed to a minor-league deal with infielder Eric Sogard, pending a physical, NBC Sports Chicago confirmed Wednesday.
Sogard, 34, gives the Cubs another option in this spring’s second-base position battle. He, unlike the other three, bats left-handed full time. Nico Hoerner and David Bote are right-handed. Ildemaro Vargas is a switch hitter whose career splits slightly favor his right-handed swing.
“What you really want is for someone to grab the job,” Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said of second base this spring.
Hoerner, 23, seems to be in the best position to do so after platooning second base last season with veteran Jason Kipnis. But if the Cubs decide over the course of spring training that Hoerner isn’t ready for a fulltime role, Sogard is an option to fill in against right-handed pitching.
Even if Hoerner does earn a majority of the playing time at second, Sogard could serve as another backup if he makes the team. Sogard also can play on the left side of the infield.
Sogard spent the first six years of his MLB career in Oakland before joining the NL Central as a Brewer, making his Milwaukee debut in 2017. Two years later, Sogard split the season with the Blue Jays and the Rays. But he was a Cubs target at the 2019 trade deadline and the following offseason when he hit free agency.
Instead, he returned to the Brewers for 2020. Sogard, a career .246 hitter, posted a .209 batting average in the shortened season. ESPN’s Jesse Rogers was the first to Sogard's new deal with the Cubs.