Saturday, March 16, 2013

Yanks Sign Brennan Boesch

I don't get this move.  I really don't.  Brennan Boesch doesn't profile as the type of hitter that fits the Yankee system in any way, and he's not a run saver on defense.  I know the outfield competition in camp wasn't full of blue chippers, but there isn't anything that Boesch does better than anybody who was already on the Yankee ST roster.  He was released by Detroit for a reason and the Yankees chose to not only sign him, but to sign him to a guaranteed Major League deal worth $1.5 million plus incentives that will require them to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

More thoughts after the jump.

The roster spot isn't an issue, as Michael Pineda was already moved to the 60-day DL, but the Yankees' willingness to essentially end the outfield competition for a guy whose recent production should have earned him nothing more than a spot in said competition is.  I can't help but think this was a move aimed at being more of a favor to Scott Boras, who is Boesch's agent, to try to score some brownie points in the Cano negotiations.  That may be a good business decision, but right now it doesn't look like a very good baseball decision.

If there are some positives to be taken from this deal, one of them is the team control that the Yankees will have over Boesch.  He still has a MiL option left, which will make roster juggling easy when Curtis Granderson comes back from his forearm injury, and he's also arbitration eligible for the next couple years.  If Boesch does manage to turn things around, he can be one of those young, cost-controlled pieces the Yankees are going to need.  And he does have some real power in his bat, so maybe the Yanks are counting on Kevin Long being able to tinker with his swing and approach a bit to cut down on the hacking and maximize that power output with the short porch in right field.

Whatever ends up happening, Boesch is going to play.  The Yankees didn't sign him to a guaranteed deal to just send him down to Triple-A.  My guess is he'll start the season in left field, with Juan Rivera and his hot spring bat transitioning to first base.  That leaves one spot still open in the outfield competition and Mesa, Diaz, Neal, and Mustelier still jockeying for it.  There isn't much room left on the wall for the Yankees to throw replacement-level outfield shit at, so hopefully this is the last non-Giancarlo Stanton move they make this spring.

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