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Blue Jays deal Sogard to Rays for 2 PTBNs

July 28, 2019

TORONTO — The Blue Jays have traded veteran utilityman Eric Sogard to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for two players to be named, the club announced following Sunday’s game. Moving Sogard got the ball rolling for the Blue Jays on Sunday as they later agreed to a deal to

TORONTO — The Blue Jays have traded veteran utilityman Eric Sogard to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for two players to be named, the club announced following Sunday’s game.

Moving Sogard got the ball rolling for the Blue Jays on Sunday as they later agreed to a deal to send start pitcher Marcus Stroman to the New York Mets for a pair of pitching prospects.

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The Rays were already in Toronto, finishing their three-game series against the Blue Jays with a 10-9 win, but Sogard will travel to meet his new team Monday in Boston, given their scheduled off-day.

“I’m excited, excited to be with a team in contention to make the playoffs,” Sogard said following the game. “So I certainly hope I can bring to them what I’ve done here in Toronto and help them make the playoffs.”

Manager Charlie Montoyo originally had Sogard in his lineup batting leadoff, but he was scratched just prior to first pitch. Sogard spent the remainder of the game in the Blue Jays’ dugout, joking afterward that it would have been fun to start the game on one side and finish it on the other after a brief wardrobe change.

“I’ve absolutely loved it here in Toronto,” Sogard said. “The fans have been great, staff is great and these young players have been a true joy to be around, to watch them grow each day, it’s been fun and just kind of help them in their growing.”

That feeling has been mutual among Sogard’s teammates and coaches. Montoyo credits him for his leadership in the clubhouse, and many of those young players, like second baseman Cavan Biggio, have spoken highly of his mentorship early in their careers.

“He was great, he was great. We’re going to miss an outstanding kid and great clubhouse guy and one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball,” Montoyo said. “Hopefully he makes it to the playoffs, and it would be great for him”

Sogard is enjoying the best season of his career at age 33 with a .300 average and an .840 OPS. This has made him a fixture atop the Blue Jays’ lineup, which is well beyond what was expected of Sogard coming out of Spring Training in late March.

Sogard, who joined the Blue Jays on a Minor League deal, didn’t crack the Opening Day roster and opened the season at Triple-A Buffalo, where he appeared in nine games before debuting with the Blue Jays on April 16. Along with his sudden offensive value, Sogard offered Montoyo plenty of lineup flexibility with his ability to play second base, third base, shortstop and the corner outfield positions.

That flexibility was a primary reason that the Blue Jays drew widespread interest in Sogard recently. The Cubs and Giants were among those teams to recently discuss Sogard with the Blue Jays, according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi.

It’s unlikely that the Blue Jays are done on the trade market, either. Ken Giles is one of the top relievers available, while Daniel Hudson is another bullpen arm to keep an eye on. Veterans Freddy Galvis and Justin Smoak are also expected to garner interest as the Deadline nears.