The Tampa Bay Rays acquired infielder Eric Sogard from the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday, bolstering a lineup beset by injuries with a veteran who can play every infield position as well as corner outfield spots.
The 33-year-old Sogard is hitting .300/.363/.477 after signing a minor league deal over the winter with Toronto following a disappointing 2018 season. He excelled as a utilityman for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2017, and his power spike this season has led to a career year.
Tampa Bay continues to be among the most aggressive teams in pursuing trades before Wednesday's deadline, according to sources. The Rays' desire for versatility is perfectly embodied by Sogard, who was also pursued by the Chicago Cubs, among other teams.
The Blue Jays received two players to be named later in exchange for Sogard.
The Rays also traded right-hander Ian Gibaut to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations on Monday.
With Sogard's departure, the Blue Jays could soon summon Bo Bichette, their top prospect and a middle infielder, to join fellow rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and other core players in their rebuild. The Sogard deal came hours before Toronto traded right-handed starter Marcus Stroman to the New York Mets and could also be followed by other potential moves that include dealing relievers Ken Giles and Daniel Hudson.
In another deal Sunday to clear space on the 40-man roster for Sogard, the Rays traded right-handed reliever Hunter Wood and infielder Christian Arroyo to the Cleveland Indians for outfielder Ruben Cardenas. Wood has a 2.48 ERA in 19 appearances this season.
The Rays also received international slot money as part of their trade with the Indians.