Yankees sign Brennan Boesch

Sherman: Yankees scouted Abreu in winter ball
Open Thread: 3/15 Camp Notes
(David Maxwell/Getty)
(David Maxwell/Getty)

7:14pm: The Yankees have officially announced the signing, so it’s a done deal. Boesch will be in camp tomorrow. Michael Pineda was moved to the 60-day DL to free up a spot on the 40-man roster.

4:58pm: Another day, another outfielder. The Yankees have agreed to sign Brennan Boesch to a Major League contract worth $1.5M with $600k in plate appearance-based incentives, according to Jon Heyman. The club will need to make a 40-man roster move to accommodate the Scott Boras client, who was released by the Tigers earlier this week. That’s not an issue though, both Michael Pineda and Cesar Cabral are 60-day DL candidates. Boesch was dealing with an oblique issue earlier in camp and probably has to pass a physical before the contract is official.

The 27-year-old Boesch hit .240/.286/.372 (77 wRC+) with 12 homers in 503 plate appearances for Detroit last season. One year earlier he managed a .283/.341/.458 (117 wRC+) with 16 homers in 472 plate appearances before tearing a ligament in his thumb and needing surgery. The Yankees are presumably hoping the further he gets away from surgery, the more his production will increase because Boesch doesn’t steal, is a total hacker, and is a terrible defender. He has a slight reverse split (110 wRC+ vs. 92) despite having a much higher strikeout rate (23.3 K% vs. 17.9) and a lower ISO (.134 vs. .162) against lefties, though it could be a sample size issue since we’re talking about 374 plate appearances against southpaws over three years.

The one thing Boesch will give the Yankees is flexibility. He has at least one minor league option remaining and can be assigned to Triple-A Scranton without a problem whenever Curtis Granderson‘s forearm is healthy. Because he only has three years of service time, the Yankees will also control him as an arbitration-eligible player through 2016 as well. Always nice to have that extra layer of control and know the player is more than a rental if he actually proves to be useful.

I don’t think the Yankees signed Boesch to a big league contract only to send him down before Opening Day, so he’s a safe bet to make the roster as Granderson’s replacement. Either full-time or as part of a platoon, I’m sure he’ll be in there regularly. Hopefully the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium helps boost Boesch’s power output while his defense doesn’t completely negate any value he provides. Decent depth pickup but nothing special. One (or maybe two) dimensional player who fills a need created by injury.

Sherman: Yankees scouted Abreu in winter ball
Open Thread: 3/15 Camp Notes
  • Dropped Third


    • dalelama

      Just what we need more discarded mediocrity. This is really getting pathetic.

  • Laz

    If he bounces back this could be a pretty good move, and is he really worse than Rivera. Does Detroit have to cover any of this?

    • Tom

      No due to some of the intricacies of arbitration Detroit wriggled off the hook on his salary,

      He got I think 2.3mil(?) in arbitration, but those contracts aren’t guaranteed until a certain date in Spring Training. Detroit cut bait with him the day before that deadline so they only owed him some small portion of that (I think it was ~300K)

      At that point Boesch effectively became a FA in terms of salary (but still has the arb years and options of a player under club control)

  • trr

    no biggie, but he’s better than most of the cheap options out there, so I’m OK with this…

  • Sam

    Have they soured on Mesa then? Here’s hoping for his 2011 and not his 2012 performance.

  • thenamestsam

    If you’re going with the “Throw shit at the wall and see what sticks” strategy I guess you might as much shit as possible.

    • thenamestsam

      Fail. Throw as much shit as possible.

  • CashmanNinja

    I actually really like this move. He’s nothing special, but I feel he’s a better option than guys like Juan Rivera and company in terms of giving us depth.

  • FLYER7

    Boesch: I like it. Low cost, low risk. Maybe he bounces back and gives NYY some time while waiting for next wave of MiLB outfield prospects…

  • FIPster Doofus

    He’s only a season removed from being respectable offensively. So there’s that.

  • BigBlueAL

    Judging by his career splits he actually has hit slightly higher vs LHP than RHP.

  • Chris

    This certainly stinks for the guys (young and old) that are battling it out in spring training for one of the few open spots with the Yanks. Some of these players actually had a decent spring and now that doesn’t mean a thing. I disagree with the ‘major league’ contract. Sign him to a minor league one and let him battle it out with everyone else.

    • Steve (different one)

      This assumes no one else was willing to give a major league deal. Considering the state of the Mets OF, I don’t think that’s a given.

      The yanks didn’t just give him a major league deal for the heck of it. He also has an option. If one of those other guys you speak of really forced their way onto the roster, Boesch can go to AAA.

      Either way, the organization is in slightly better shape than it was an hour ago. It’s not a sexy pickup, but Boesch is a credible bench player.

      • Chris

        Well it’s obviously for an OF or DH insurance if and when Hafner gets injured. Still, defensively I don’t like the move. The Yankees almost always never give any of the kids a chance, even if they played well enough to make the team. That’s been their style for a while. They rather send the kids down and get regular AB’s when realistically, they’ll rarely get a fair shake. So now the Yankees have 3 DH’s: ARod, Hafner, and Boesch. (if they want ARod healthy, might as well make him a full time DH).

        I would of rather seen a trade for John McDonald. There’s a clear need there and the dude can pick it with the best of them. Can’t hit a lick, but defensively is amazing. Nice back up.

        • Havok9120

          This doesn’t preclude that, you know. Or anything else.

        • Ruby

          Please name kids that would be a better option than the 27 y/o Boesch, not trying to sound douchy, but he has an option left, major league experience, decent power and not terrible splits for what he is which is a bench option and temporary fill in while granderson is out. Ronnier is unproven and a year older, zoilo hasnt played above AA and is a power first defense second bat like boesch, and slade/tyler/other prospect are too far away. Also this signing by no means leaves mesa off the roster, he could hypothetically head north as the righty bat to compliment all 3 lefties in the OF. Theres really nothing too detrimental to the team for trying him out especially with the one option remaining which would allow to send him down in the event of a “kid” actually beating him out.

          • Herby

            Only problem is how can you go from, “unproven,” to “experienced”. If you don’t get a chance. I don’t think he provides anything that isn’t already in the Yankee camp.

            • Ruby

              i understand your point, and i would totally agree if he was blocking a real prospect like austin/slade/mason or even flores, i just dont see how adding Boesch is really bad as a lefty part of a platoon given his past. I by no means think he will be a stud defensively but i do think he could be useful until granderson comes back, plus he has an option so if he sucks or one of the righty bats out performs him he can go to scranton.

          • chris

            Well, Boesch may be experienced and have a little pop, but everything else leaves a lot to be desired. He’s another lefty which the Yanks do not need despite the short porch and is a gargoyle in of. He also rarely walks which tells me he’s a free swinger while the Yanks stress the opposite. Big deal, if he has a minor league option left. Won’t matter when he makes opening day roster and immediately falters.

            Musty at least has hit at every level he’s been at and can play the corners and fake 3b in a pinch as we’ve seen. Nothing left to prove on the farm.

            Mesa can hit for power, play excellent defense, run, but k’s often. He’s showed increased patience this spring and is a poor man’s Austin Jackson which isn’t terrible if you ask me.

            Francisco has experience, more than Bleach, RH batter, some pop and can play all of positions.

            Neal can probably play all of positions and has had a good spring. Call me crazy, but these guys are just more versatile than Boesch and ideally fits what Yankees currently need.

            • Ruby

              i respect all your points and even agree with some of them, all i was trying to point out is that some of the kids arent really kids and that the signing wasnt all bad. I havent seen much of the spring training and even so its a SSS but Ronnier seems more like a faker for a corner spot and a DH type. I see a Alfonso Soriano-lite with better D in mesa and i would choose him over the other choices. I think what all the options you mentioned have over Brennan is they all bat righty and are more versatile so that can very well offset the small amount of experience he has over them. However i was never a huge fan of Francisco going back to when he was with cleveland but if he can help the team im all for whatever works. personally i would like to see neal kept somehow with musty, mesa and boesch going north until granderson comes back.

              • chris

                I understand why they signed him. He’s the best of the rest and the Yanks have been linked to him in the past. In Bench players, teams need versatility and Boesch doesn’t have that imo. He’s a dead roster spot on the 25 and 40 man roster.

                And if Dan Johnson or Matt Diaz make the roster, then you’ll know the Yanks value experience over productivity in ST. Basically the younger guys never had a shot.

                • Fin

                  The younger guys never had a shot, it was always going to be washed up/never been vets, until they prove they cant do it during the regular season. Its the way its always been and I didnt see it changing for the likes of Musty, Mesa or Almonte.

  • Laz

    At that price though, why couldn’t we just get Schierholtz?

    • Steve (different one)

      1. Don’t think it was money with Schierholz, think he wanted playing time
      2. This decision was made post-Granderson broken arm. They’d obviously have done things differently with perfect knowledge of the future

  • Nice Guy Eddie

    This is said way too often but he could benefit from a change of scenery(Comerica->YSIII)

  • Rob S.

    The Yankees gave him a major league deal so they view him as slightly better than “meh”. He’s got some pop which is sorely needed and a perfect swing for Yankee Stadium. I’m certainly more intrigued by this move than say Ben Francisco. I actually think the Yankees are fortunate to have Boesch fall into they’re lap. Of course if he could play first or third base it would be even better.

    • Nice Guy Eddie

      he has an option left though..

    • JMK

      I don’t think you can say anyone with a K-rate that high has a “perfect swing” for any stadium.

      • Steve (different one)

        Yeah, he’s not going to make you forget Don Mattingly, but the April Yankees were hemorrhaging offense and Boesch is some gauze..,

        • JMK

          I’m not saying it’s a bad move, just commenting on the “perfect” swing. At this point, getting anyone with a major league track record who has played (even poorly) the outfield and has power is a small victory.

  • RetroRob (Live from Amsterdam)

    Too young.

    • Adirondack Murray

      Now that’s funny

  • Joba’sPhatStache

    I have a better chance of crackin’ (no pun intended) the lineup.

  • Greg

    another less than replacement player who can go to the minors. Much to do about nothing. Although it is interesting that we are the resting place of all guys who get cut.

    • FIPster Doofus

      There are plenty of examples of scrapheap pickups turning out decently for the Yankees. Just recently, you have guys like Colon, Garcia, Jones, Ibanez, Chavez and Thames.

      I’m not expecting much out of Boesch, but if he’s adequate offensively, it won’t come as a shock. He put up a 117 wRC+ in 2011 and was good against both lefties and righties.

  • jg233

    I like this move…he could easily his 20 homers playing half his games in Yankee Stadium if he gets enough ABs. He is also not even 28 years old yet, a good bat off the bench at the very least.

  • Adam

    Hooray for more borderline MLB players willing to sign one-year deals! The Cashman specialty.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Because there are so many players out there right now who are worth multi-year deals, right? In any event, it seems more like the Hal Steinbrenner specialty to me. Cashman didn’t set the $189 million mandate.

    • jjyank

      First male name only commenters! An Internet specialty!

  • Chris

    If RAB was around in 1998, then people on this site would’ve shitted on that team also for their moves to get Knoblauch and Brosius. There’s always a reason to criticize and yet some Yankees fans have amnesia when it comes to the successful scrap heap additions. Every GM has experienced failure and successes during their tenure. Jesus Christ, shut the fuck up and just cheer the team. The season isn’t even underway!

    • Steve (different one)

      “Darryl Strawberry?! What year is this, 1986? He’s playing in indie ball, probably doing coke non stop!!”

      “Jimmy Key? What, Nolan Ryan isn’t still around?

      “David Wells is too fat!”

    • Pat D

      Not so sure about those two examples. Knoblauch was an elite second baseman who was not quite 30 when they acquired him. I know I wanted him for a couple of years back at that time. Maybe we’d have bitched about the prospect cost, since Milton and Guzman were highly considered, but even with Knoblauch’s struggles it ended up working.

      As for Brosius, yea, he was terrible in 1997 but I’m pretty sure we would all have been rejoicing the fact that they got rid of Kenny Rogers.

  • Steve (different one)

    I’ve always wanted Mike to write up a “time machine” analysis of the Tino trade. I’m guessing it would have been hugely unpopular.

    • Steve (different one)

      Reply fail….

    • Chris

      My point exactly

  • Pat D

    Dammit, why are they wasting their time!

    Play teh kidz!!!!11!!!!!!1!!!

  • jjyank

    I like it. Major league deal isn’t ideal, but it’s nice that he has an option left. I’ve always liked Boesch, even though he made me look stupid in fantasy baseball for drafting him last year. But if he can regain his 2011 form, he could be a great pick up.

  • JRod

    Found a Detroit News article about the Tigers cutting Bosch:


    53 comments !! His loss is actually kind of lamented over there. Call it schadenfreude, but I’m liking it better now. They’re looking at swing mechanics and blaming the batting coach. Valid or not, he did show some decent power. If KLong can straighten him out, he could have some fun with the short porch. More of a backup DH in the wildly likely event that Hafner gets hurt. This guy is an absolute pig defensively. The option is key, and with the oblique, I hope they’ll send him down to start the season. Do not want to see this golem lumbering around the outfield in early April.

    • Bob Buttons

      English really needs a more anglicized word for schadenfreude.

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    Why not, there’s not anyone better available at this point. Maybe he can get hot for a few weeks and help out. That being said, I think he’s a lot more likely to be the 2012 Boesch, not the 2011 version as the Tigers are run pretty damn well and I doubt they’d just release him unless they were convinced 2011 was a fluke.

  • dkidd

    he attended snooty harvard-westlake high school in los angeles, therefore i will propose the nickname “bosh spice”

    • Manny’s BanWagon

      Are you seriously making a Spice girl reference on a Yankees blog?

      Does the D in dkidd stand for Denise or Danielle?

      • dkidd

        that’s bosh league, bro!

  • Mike HC

    Sounds good to me. I think he immediately becomes our best outfield option.

  • Clusterduck

    Strikes out a lot, can’t run, doesn’t walk much, doesn’t hit much for average, can’t field, often injured, cut from last year’s Tigers post season roster, and now cut loose from the Tigers during spring training, after not hitting and then getting injured, while three players I never even heard of compete for the Tiger’s fourth outfield spot.

    I hope he doesn’t take a spot or even AB’s away from Rivera/Diaz/Musty because I think those three are more likely to help the Yanks.

    • Herby

      I hope he doesn’t take a spot from someone in AA

  • CashmanNinja

    I’m loving this signing more and more I hear about it. $1.5 mil is nothing considering the state we’re in. Here’s hoping he’ll produce like he did the previous year. When you realize what was out there for that cheap he was hands down the best option there is. They were talking about giving up Joba for something like Gentry…yeah, I’d rather keep Joba and spend a few bucks on Boesch instead.

  • cheddar

    I don’t know. I was kinda liking the ongoing competition to replace Granderson. Is Boesch really that much better than what we already had to lock up the spot?

  • MannyGeee

    Well, is he big? Check…

    Left handed? Affirmative…

    hairy? 3 in a row… We’re rolling now.

    The jury is still out as to if he is a monster or not. Eddard, can we get a ruling on his monster hood?

  • SevenAces

    a little late… but…


    Like a Boesch!!