The Athletics didn’t add much major league talent to their roster over the offseason. In fact, they kicked off a rebuilding process by trading away several of their key players.
But one piece Oakland did add is a familiar name to Bay Area baseball fans: veteran catcher Stephen Vogt. The 37-year-old Vogt spent four seasons (2013-17) with the A’s and made the All-Star team twice. He also played for the Giants in 2019.
Vogt, fresh off winning a World Series title with the Atlanta Braves last year, decided to come back for a 10th season to where he blossomed into a big leaguer. Despite the A’s roster turnover, Vogt told reporters on Friday in Arizona that coming back to Oakland this season was a “dream come true.”
“I loved it here,” Vogt said (h/t MLB.com's Martín Gallegos). “My family, we grew up as Oakland A’s. I established myself as a Major Leaguer in Oakland. We had some really special moments. Two playoff runs and a couple of All-Star Games, there’s a lot of things we accomplished here. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be back and see familiar faces.”
Vogt spent time with both the Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks last season, hitting a combined .195 with seven home runs and 25 RBI. He got a World Series ring, but couldn’t contribute to the Braves’ postseason run after suffering an injury early in September.
This time around in Oakland, Vogt’s playing time will be limited with Sean Murphy slotted as the A’s everyday catcher. Vogt told reporters that he thought about retiring on top with a ring, but ultimately decided that he had more left in the tank.
“But really what it came down to is I love to play baseball,” Vogt said, via the San Francisco Chronicle's Matt Kawahara. “I love playing this game. And my body’s going to allow me to do it. I worked really hard to get healthy after the last surgery, and if there was an opportunity out there, I wanted to take it. And I’m so blessed and excited that that opportunity came from Oakland and that I’m back here with the A’s.”
Vogt admitted that there are a lot of new faces in the dugout. But Vogt – who was a fan-favorite in his first stint in Oakland and the inspiration for the “I believe in Stephen Vogt” chants – said he was optimistic about what the A’s can do as underdogs in 2022, with young players looking to earn playing time.
“We’re going to have a great year,” Vogt said. “It’s what we take with this opportunity that we’re given. There’s a lot of young guys trying to establish themselves now as Major League Baseball players, and that’s not always easy to do.”