The New York Yankees have signed free agent outfielder Brennan Boesch to a Major League contract according to Jon Heyman. Boesch had become a free agent after being given his release by the Detroit Tigers earlier in the week.
In Boesch the Yankees are getting a free swinger who should have enough power to make the right field porch in Yankee Stadium a frequent target. Last season, Boesch hit .240/.286/.372 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 54 RBI. His best season came in 2011 when he hit .283/.341/.458 with 16 homers, 25 doubles and 54 RBI.
Boesch, 28 in April, is a left-handed bat so he won’t answer the Yankees desire to add a right-handed bat in the outfield mix. The Yankees had Juan Rivera, Matt Diaz, Ben Francisco and Melky Mesa battling it out for that role. However, none have really emerged as a favorite this spring.
There is still a minor league option remaining on Boesch so the Yankees could stash him away at Triple-A for the time being if need be.
With the lack of viable depth in the outfield this spring, made worse by the injury to Curtis Granderson, the Yankees needed to bring Boesch in. He is still young enough to live up to the promise that followed him through the minor leagues up to Detroit. Even if he is no more than a free-swinging lefty bat at this point this was an astute signing for Brian Cashman and the Yankees. Boesch adds insurance to an outfield that features 39-year-old Ichiro Suzuki, Granderson who won’t be ready until ay as he comes back from a broken forearm and Brett Gardner who is coming off a missed season with elbow trouble.
At the very worst Boesch gives Joe Girardi a power bat that can come off the bench late in games who can play in the outfield. He does come with the unique ability to hit left-handed pitching better than right-handed pitching. He owns a career line of .286/.348/.420 in 336 at-bats against lefties while hitting .250/.305/.412 in 1026 at-bats against righties.
This was a solid signing by Cashman and something the Yankees needed to do.