Yankees Sign Brennan Boesch

The Yankees have signed outfielder Brennan Boesch to a $1.5 million Major League deal. Via Jon Heyman, Boesch will receive incentives along with his base salary.

There was some recent speculation about Boesch to the Yankees, following his release from the Tigers. Matt wrote about Boesch just yesterday. In his career with the Tigers, the left-handed hitter batted .259/.315/.414 and a 96 wRC+ in 1487 plate appearances. Boesch does have some power, but has struggled with his defense. Although he’s left-handed, Boesch actually has a reverse platoon split, and better numbers at Comerica Park than on the road. This is likely due to small sample size. Boesch hits to all parts of the field, but on hits to right field, he has maintained a .305 ISO over his career. This number should go up in Yankee Stadium, where the left field wall is much more hitter friendly than in Detroit.

Boesch has struggled this spring, with only 3 hits and 2 walks in 18 plate appearances. That means very little, as he looks to repeat his 2011 performance with the Tigers (.283/.341/.458) as opposed to 2012. (.240/.286/.372) Last year’s poor performance was due to a drop in his line drive rates, which fell from 18.2 to 16.0. Along with that, his batting average on line drives fell from .774 to .610. These are two possible signs that he could rebound, and on $1.5 million, the Yankees have taken another low risk/high reward flyer.

About Michael Eder

Mike is the co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money. Outside of blogging baseball, Mike is also a musician, a runner, and a beer lover.

22 thoughts on “Yankees Sign Brennan Boesch

  1. Another lefty bat…but a healthy outfielder is a healthy outfielder. And the Yankees have had success in the past with outfielders who haven't lived up to potential…Paul O'Neill comes to mind.

    • Nick Swisher comes to mind. Same age as when he came to NY after just one poor season.

      • Russell Martin – also 27 when he came to NY after a down year in LA. Odd coincidence .

  2. Can't help but shake your head. Guy has a bad year, get released from his prior team and then signs for almost triple his last year salary. And if I read this right he has had recent trouble getting on top and hitting line drives, that short Stadium porch beckoning the big lefty might increase that problem. I think the piece yesterday saying he was no answer for the yanks was spot on…

  3. That picture actually makes me hate the signing more. He looks like Seth MacFarlane's stunt double.


  4. I like it. He'll hit well in YS. This is sort of similar to the Martin signing a few years back. No harm in trying this out for a month and a half.

      • see below — the risk is in giving regular playing time to one of the very worst fielders in baseball who's also been a below-average bat for 2 of his 3 major-league seasons.

        Oh, and the dude has a career .753 OPS in the minors — itself inflated by a season where he beat up on AA players at age 24 — so that doesn't really portend success, either.

        You can say, "ooh, left handed," but Barack Obama is left-handed, and I don't think *he's* the solution in the outfield, either.

  5. Pay 1.5 for a potentially solid fill in for the first month and part-time bat, or trade away more prospects and/or Joba for Mitch Moreland? At this time last year, people were talking about Boesch as a potential breakout 5th/6th hitter in Detroit's lineup. He may still have that in him and maybe a change will do him well. This could be a great deal. At this point, the risk is worth it.

  6. Wow some real idiots posting in these comments today, and I'm not one of them.

    How is a year and $1.5M with incentives "high risk"? I hope he makes those incentives because it would mean he'd produce some great numbers for a guy costing only $1.5M base. I hope he makes as much money as possible.

    Hey "James Dogg" the Yanks got Boesch for $800K less than what the Tigers would've had to pay him had they kept him, it's called fourth year under contract and first year salary arbitration eligible. Even $2.3M would be low-risk high-reward. Again, if he makes the incentives he's producing.

    Whoever shakes his head at the Yanks signing a guy who will turn only 28 next month and has power for only $1.5M base needs to get his head checked. The guy is 5-6 years younger than Diaz and Rivera and I believe 7-8 years younger than Hafner (who can't play the field) plus he's not a free-agent until 2016, so the Yanks have him under control for three years, and he has options remaining. This is actually the best offseason signing the Yanks have made when you look at Boesch's age, cost, and contract status. $12M for Youkilis? Youkilis is worth 8X Boesch's base salary – really?

    Here's to Boesch being the next Nick Swisher or Paul O'Neill (one can dream) !!!

    • The "high risk" isn't the money; the risk is in giving regular AB to an atrocious defender with a career .729 OPS and nothing in his minor-league profile that suggests he can hit enough to play right field. And by "play" right field, I'm being generous: he's a staggering -10.7 UZR/150 for his career in the outfield, which is essentially on the order of asking Cecil Fielder to play right.

      The "low reward": a career-high .799 OPS in 2011.

      I think the fact that people are excited about this move tells you just how bad the Yankees' offseason has been.

      • Thank you Andrew. Boesch is terrible. I'm failing to see the upside of paying $1.5 million for a terrible baseball player but apparently that makes me an "idiot".

    • This is actual on the field baseball, not strat-o-matic –the guy has a 0.025 hr to ab ratio and is working toward a 4 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio– on a team that will look to manufacture runs this will be the stike-out in the potential rally inning AB more than the big hit – think swisher in playoffs 162 O'Neill was in a different league- but I agree the Youkliss signing makes this look great – that was 12 mil for history nothing more glad you think highly of your self, must be lonely

  7. Boesch is far preferable to Rivera or Diaz IMO, but I prefer to see a roster spot (or two) go to the young guys. What's the point of developing players in the minors if you aren't going to call them up?

    The Yanks should be grooming someone to take over for Granderson at the major league level this season, before he has an opportunity to walk.

    It's the Russel Martin situation all over again.

    The fact that the Yanks top prospect is the starting catcher in Seattle, and the 2013 (likely) starting catcher for the Yankees was demoted to AAA last season speaks volumes. The myopia of the Yankees front office is worsening to the point of utter blindness.

    Where they seriously contemplating Derek Lee to play 1b rather than moving over Youkilis and giving Ronnie Muellister an audition at 3B? Ridiculous.

    • I'd like to think statements like the Derrick Lee interest are just attempts to keep the kids from thinking they have the job in the bag. Not that I'm saying it happened, but Ronnie could easily have looked around camp and figured he's the best option. Maybe he still is, but I'd like the kids to keep that fire in the belly and earn their starts.