The New York Yankees have several holes throughout their roster and mediocre solutions to those problems. We all know about the lack of outfield depth, even with Melky Mesa, Zoilo Almonte, Juan Rivera, Matt Diaz and Ben Francisco fighting for two spots on the roster. Now, news has come out that the Detroit Tigers have released Brennan Boesch.
Boesch is far from ideal for the Yankees in that he is a left-handed hitter but he is still just 27, he will turn 28 in April, and his left-handed swing could produce nice results in Yankee Stadium. Boesch does have some pop in his bat, averaging 14 home runs a year over the last three years and the right field porch in Yankee Stadium is a lot more inviting than anything in Comerica Park.
Let’s face it, the moves the Yankees are making this year are really about next season as well. They are facing losing Curtis Granderson in free agency at the end of the year. Brett Gardner could slide into center field and Boesch could move into left field, at least providing a stopgap for the Yankees until they find someone better or have money to spend after 2014. Or, Boesch could finally realize the potential the Tigers grew tired of waiting on and be a nice player for the Yankees. Let’s not forget Ichiro Suzuki is 39-years-old and nobody knows what he can offer from year-to-year.
With the Yankees signing of Ben Francisco this week it certainly signals Brian Cashman’s desire to find the best possible fit for his team. Adding a player who will turn 28 this year, basically the prime of his career, for low cost should intrigue Cashman.
Boesch posted a .240/.286/.372 batting line with 12 home runs and 54 RBI in 132 games with the Tigers last year. In 2011 he posted a .283/.341/.458 line with 16 homers and 54 RBI in 115 games.
The Yankees are trying to find something in Juan Rivera, Matt Diaz and Ben Francisco while hoping Melky Mesa or Zoilo Almonte can contribute or at least show they can fill in if an injury strikes. Mesa and Almonte do have some power but they struggle to make contact consistently. There is nothing wrong with bringing in a little insurance in Boesch.
The Yankees might have some competition in obtaining Boesch’s services. The New York Mets and Atlanta Braves could inquire about Boesch. The Braves would view Boesch as strictly a backup while the Mets need all kinds of help in the outfield. Boesch’s phone is probably already ringing.