The Braves and Diamondbacks agreed to a one-for-one player swap late last night. The Diamondbacks sent veteran catcher Stephen Vogt to the Braves in exchange for first baseman Mason Berne, per the Diamondbacks.
The Braves are in veteran acquisition mode after picking up Joc Pederson from the Cubs, and now Vogt from the Diamondbacks. The Braves have been in full-on carousel mode behind the dish ever since starter Travis d’Arnaud went down with a torn ligament in his hand in early May.
In terms of their catcher-of-the-future types, Alex Jackson also landed on the injured list at the same time as d’Arnaud with a strained hamstring, and William Contreras hit just .204/.278/.387 across 158 plate appearances before being sent back to Triple-A.
Vogt will join veterans Jonathan Lucroy and Kevan Smith on the Braves’ active roster. Jeff Mathis also saw a few games of action earlier this season, but he failed to register a hit in three games. Lucroy is also a new addition, having played just two games in Atlanta this year. Smith, meanwhile, may not be long for the roster after slashing .197/.274/.227 in 69 plate appearances. Bringing in both Lucroy and Vogt over the last couple of days suggests the Braves don’t see much long-term utility in Smith as they try to remain in the hunt for the National League East crown.
As for Vogt himself, he does bring the added value of being able to play elsewhere in the field, which would enable the Braves to hold three catchers on the roster if they so chose. The 36-year-old veteran has hit .212/.307/.386 this across 151 plate appearances this season, starting 35 games for the Snakes.
The Braves are nowhere near the luxury tax, so that’s not a concern for them, though Vogt is playing on a one-year, $3.5MM contract, so he’s affordable regardless. He will be a free agent at the end of the year.
In exchange for a couple months of Vogt, the Diamondbacks are getting a 25-year-old infield prospect in Berne. The 33rd round draft pick signed for $10K out of UNC in 2018, and because of the pandemic, Berne doesn’t have much professional experience to speak of. He has appeared in just five games in rookie ball for the Braves this year, and considering his age, the first baseman is little more than a flyer for the Diamondbacks.
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