It didn't take long for rumors of the Astros being interested in Brennan Boesch to surface. Hours after he was officially released by the Tigers, Boesch is drawing a modest market, with MLB Trade Rumors reporting the Mets, Yankees and Astros may be interested, as confirmed by Brian McTaggart.
#Astros are going to take a look at released OF Brennan Boesch. Remains to be seen if it's a fit.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 13, 2013
Boesch turns 28 on April 12 and has played in three seasons for the Tigers. The left-hander hit .240/.286/.372 last season in 503 plate appearances for the Tigers, playing primarily in right field. He has never played particularly well in right field, however, with a career -18 Defensive Runs Saved in right and posting a -8 DRS last season there.
Boesch also doesn't really fit the profile of Houston's recent acquisitions. His walk rate was in the 7 percent range for his first two seasons in the majors, but that fell to 5.4 percent last season. In his minor league career, Boesch had only one season with a walk rate over 7, so we may be seeing regression rather than a statistical blip.
The left-hander does have power, hitting 42 home runs in nearly 1,500 career plate appearances and reaching double-digits in each of his three major league seasons. As recently as 2009, Boesch also hit 28 homers in the minors.
More than his profile not lining up with recent Astros acquisitions, there's also the question of fit with this roster. Houston already has a left-handed power guy in the mix for the outfield in Rick Ankiel. Plus, Ankiel's defense should be a positive in either center field or right field, meaning he's got Boesch's power and adds defensive ability. Plus, both Boesch and Ankiel are lefties, so they seem to fill the same roster spot.
More importantly, Steve E. on Twitter has a great question. You can vote on the matchup below.
Hey Astros fans, would you rather have Brennan Boesch or a paint can filled with nacho cheese?— Steve E. (@KevinBassStache) March 13, 2013
What say ye, TCBers? Does Boesch fit this team, since no one has jumped up and grabbed the right field job? Would you rather see one of the Martinii in right? Does Boesch's price tag also make it unlikely that the Astros will pick him up?
TCB Writers react
I can't say I'd be very happy to see Boesch in Houston. He just does nothing for me that we don't already have in a multitude of younger, higher-upside players.I'd venture a guess that either of the Martinii, Barnes, Paredes, Grossman, and even Krauss could have a major league season with better value than Boesch.
I couldn't agree more. I understand doing due diligence on any player, which is what this reeks of, but I just don't see how he clears up anything on our roster. All he does is add more murk on the low end.
If they don't want to roll with a Martinez in right, I say roll with Robbie Grossman. I just don't understand further blocking young talent with mediocrity, as the rest of y'all have said.
My only answer is that they'd wish to delay Grossman's free agency another year by waiting to call him up. In that sense, I much prefer a Martinez to start in Right, provided that if that Martinez sucks for the first two months, he is replaced by a Grossman as soon as we're past the Super-2 date.
If he were claimed, Boesch seems like more of a fit for DH/LF, given his poor defensive metrics. But the Astros have enough options for the DH/LF/1b triangle already. Unless the Astros have some special insight about Boesch that isn’t apparent from the surface, I don’t see the Astros claiming him. If he is claimed, there must something we don’t know.