Yanks Ink Ensberg


Here’s something we wanted to see happen last year, but apparently was blocked by Joe Torre. The Yanks have signed Morgan Ensberg. No word on the nature of the deal — that is, whether it’s a major or minor league deal. My guess is that it’s a minor league one (saving the Yanks a roster spot), with an opt-out if he doesn’t make the big league roster.

I would suppose that he’s being brought in as competition for Shelley at first base. He’s only played three games in his career off of third base — one at DH, one at first base, and one at shortstop. I’m not quite sure if he’d be a viable bench option. We’ll see as Spring Training progresses, though.

Update: It’s a minor league deal. Just thought of something else, too. Ensberg could be Giambi insurance. If he goes down in ST, Ensberg would have a seat on the bench. Not a bad fallback plan.

Categories : Transactions


  1. Mike A. says:

    Nice move. Low risk, high reward. A nice RH power threat for the 8 hole. Not bad.

  2. mike says:

    as long as it’s a minor league deal. i don’t know why they keep getting more guys for 1st base.
    how many do we need?

    • Rich says:

      Cashman always talks about giving his manager “choices.” He finally has a manager who has an open mind about using the players he brings in. Until someone emerges at 1B, I have no problem with bringing in players who may contribute.

  3. steve (different one) says:

    it’s a minor league deal:


    look up his splits against lefties.

    great pickup. no risk, good reward.

  4. steve (different one) says:

    a betemit/ensburg platoon would probably be pretty productive at 1B.

  5. Rich M. says:

    I wonder if this has anything to do with Shelley’s arm injury this off season?

  6. Luigi says:

    good pick-up, with betemit, giambi, ensberg and in the not so distant future miranda, is it time to sell high on duncan???

  7. Jimmy G says:

    I am disappointed this is not a spot saved for Doug Mientkiewicz, the guy has been a gamer for us!!!!

  8. Mike T says:

    Everytime the Yanks sign a ‘first baseman’ I remember Giambi accusing Torre of ‘coddling’ ARod. Pavano aside I can’t remember a bigger waste of money than Giambi. Thank goodness this is his last year!

  9. mike says:

    i’d rather have a dougie/shelley platoon. from everything i’ve read shelley is completely recovered from the blood clot

  10. jon says:

    Why not Shelley, Ensberg, and Betemit? Ensberg could also play all over the infield. Still love his bat against lefties. I could also see him as a PH for Damon against a tough lefty.

  11. Dave says:

    Ensberg would have rotted on the bench with Torre. But he is the type of player Girardi will get the most out of.

  12. Luigi says:

    only one of duncan, ensberg, lane will make the team imo
    i have a feeling girardi will opt for gonzalez, green or woodward for the last bench spot for their ability to play the middle infield

    assuming matsui is dh’ing with damon in left and betemit at first, my bench would be: duncan/ensberg, molina, giambi, gonzalez/woodward/green

  13. Mike A. says:

    The Yanks had fits with command and control lefties over the past few years, hopefully Ensberg will neutralize that some.

  14. Lanny says:

    Doug can’t hit anymore. 1b has been an offensive disaster for us lately.

    We waste a valued spot there with scrubs. Ensberg, Duncan, Betemit should change that a little.

    Maybe Miranda in season.

  15. dan l says:

    Will be great to have Duncan replace Abreu who stinks against leftys and Ensberg at first. I can see 7 right handed bats playing vs leftys so huge advantage for the Yankees in improving there 20/19 record from last year.

  16. Lanny says:

    Abreu “stinks” against lefty’s?

    That’s a tad strong there. Show me some stats to back that up.

  17. Ben B. says:

    Low risk/high reward signing. I think Girardi will be much more open-minded about using guys this year. I like that he can play multiple IF positions, but isn’t Betemit better for defense? Ensberg’s mobility has decreased (when he has played) since his shoulder injury, no?

    I expect Girardi to be more open-minded with the arms Cash puts in the BP, too. Now that Mo is the only RP signed beyond 2008 (I’m not counting Igawa), I bet Girardi and Cash run a lot of arms through there until something sticks.

  18. dan l says:

    Abreu’s ops last year against leftys was .678! Does anyone really think he will get better as he gets older? His walk rate in the AL is way down as well.

    • Pettitte's stare says:

      Abreu was the feared hitter in the Phily line up for awhile. He was the guy you pitched around so of course his walk rate is going to be better. Now in the yankees lineup do you want to throw strikes to abreu or A-rod? Of course you challange Abreu so his walks are going to go down. The man had one off year, he is 33 years old, he isn’t exactly an old man yet.

  19. KAnst says:

    I have been advocating the Yanks signing Ensberg for like 2-3 years now. I like what Cashman is doing. There arent any slam dunk options at first base available so he is grabbing as many solid options as possible and will let them fight it out. I think between Miranda, Shelley, Ensberg, Betemit, and Giambi we can find one productive first baseman

  20. zack says:

    This is OT, but I just got this email from mlb.com that leads you to the following Monster.com link:

    The Yanks are hiring a sports reporter, FWIW, how cool would that be? Actually, I’m sure not as cool as I imagine, but still, in case anybody is looking for a job :)

  21. Jeff says:

    I must be losing the numbers here because if you signed Lane and Einsburg When you already have a versatile Duncan… ?
    Betemite is our utility.
    Matsui is going to have to share DH with Giambi (who they can’t move and might be a very expensive Rubin Sierra)
    I really wonder if Matsui is going somewhere – although I don’t think he should. Or Duncan?
    Giardi is going to have choices but… Jesus come on.
    Are they trying to brand AAA Ball?

  22. whozat says:

    “When you already have a versatile Duncan… ?”

    Because there’s a good chance that Duncan is what he seemed to be before last year…a minor league journeyman with holes in his swing.

    What’s wrong with bringing options to compete? If Duncan outperforms them, great! If he doesn’t, then we have a better option right there…one who’s had success at the major league level.

  23. Lanny says:

    Since when is 33 old in baseball?

    Especially since Abreu is in a FA yr.

  24. dan l says:

    Abreu will be 34 in 40 days.

  25. Jeff says:

    Yeah not really much risk with money just wondering what the thought process is? Choices are fine just questioning if there is something else going on.

    What I meant was Duncan can play infield and outfield… obviously I don’t expect him to be an all star but he’s shown the ability to put some good at bats together. Gives the team of veterans a little life as well.

  26. Luigi says:

    Duncan is a career minor leaguer, the idea that he should take at-bats away from a guy like Abreu is pure lunacy

    • Joseph P. says:

      Abreu’s OPS against lefties in 2007: .678. Shelley destroys lefthanded pitching. Yeah, I’d consider a level of platooning there.

      So no, it’s not lunacy at all. And he’s 28 this year.

  27. Rob_in_CT says:

    If Abreu continues to put up a sub-.700 OPS against lefties and Duncan can do better, it’s not lunacy. I say that as someone who sees Duncan as a AAAA player who has his uses.

    I like the Ensberg pickup.

  28. eric from morrisania says:

    Lane and Ensberg aren’t enough. Let’s add Mike Sweeney too. He may be better than both of ‘em.

    We got a 1B, a DH, and room for one more no-defense hitter. Let Giambi-Duncan-Matsui-Lane-Ensberg-Sweeney-Miranda all battle it out for the spots. And don’t forget that Matsui may start the year on the DL anyway…

  29. Ensberg is intriguing. Excellent post All Star stats .865 OPS but season cut short again with injury. In 2006, the season was poor due to a shoulder injury that he played through.

    Healthy, he will help.

    So with Nick Johnson. If he’s healthy, and all the above bomb out, trade a Marquez and a Karstens and get him back.

  30. [...] Houston (.391 wOBA in 2003, .395 wOBA and a fourth place finish in the MVP voting in 2005), but he signed with the Yanks three years ago today after an ugly 2007 season (.318 wOBA) with the ‘Stros and Padres. He [...]

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