The Blue Jays have acquired first baseman Daniel Vogelbach from the Mariners in exchange for cash considerations, both teams announced. Vogelbach was designated for assignment earlier this week following an .094/.250/.225 slash line over his first 64 plate appearances of the 2020 season.
It was a little over a year ago that Vogelbach was enjoying a selection to the All-Star Game and seemingly cementing his claim as the Mariners’ first baseman/DH of the future. A red-hot start to the 2019 season was followed by a steep decline, however, as Vogelbach hit only .162/.297/.344 over his final 310 plate appearances.
A second-round pick for the Cubs in the 2011 draft, Vogelbach was a blocked prospect behind Anthony Rizzo in Chicago, and he was sent to the M’s as part of the July 2016 trade that brought Mike Montgomery to the Cubs. Seattle had hopes that Vogelbach would build on his impressive minor league numbers and become a power bat at the MLB level, though that breakout just hasn’t come, as he has a .196/.326/.397 career slash line over 768 PA and has particularly struggled (career .547 OPS) against left-handed pitching.
It’s probably safe to assume that Toronto didn’t surrender much cash in the trade, making this a pretty low-risk acquisition for the Jays. Still, Vogelbach’s addition gives the club a third player (beyond Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Rowdy Tellez) who can play only first base or DH, plus Vogelbach and Tellez are both left-handed bats. It doesn’t make for much of an obvious fit, unless the Blue Jays simply want to have some extra depth for the bench or even down at their alternate training site.