Should Mets Sign Brennan Boesch?


The Detroit Tigers have released outfielder Brennan Boesch. Considering the state of their outfield, should the Mets sign Boesch?

On the one hand, Boesch was terrible in 503 plate appearances for the Tigers in 2012, posting a .240 AVG, .286 OPB, and .659 OPS. He did, however, hit 12 homeruns, which would have been the fifth-highest total on the Mets last year. Still, that’s not much production for a player whose strength is supposed to be his bat.

Boesch busted into MLB like gangbusters as a 25-year-old in 2010, hitting .345 with a .973 OPS in May and .337 with 8 HR, 23 RBI, and a 1.025 OPS in June. Seemingly everyone in baseball was talking about Boesch during that time, projecting him as a future All-Star and long-time mainstay in Detroit’s lineup. Boesch’s performance in the bigs was a welcome surprise for the Tigers, but not completely out of the blue, considering he had hit 28 HR in AA the previous year.

After June 2010, however, things changed drastically for Boesch. He batted a paltry .163 with .458 OPS in the second half as the league found the holes in his swing and he struggled with an injured thumb. However, Boesch returned healthy and made adjustments in 2011, hitting .283 with 16 HR and .799 OPS in a platoon role covering 472 plate appearances.

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out for him in his opportunity as an everyday player in 2012. After a slow start this spring, the Tigers decided to cut him loose.

Before you make any decision on Boesch, I’m curious — does he remind you of anyone currently vying for a corner OF spot for the Mets? Boesch is 6’4″, 235 lbs., defensively challenged, 28-year-old, lefthanded-hitting outfielder from California who enjoyed a meteoric rise in his rookie year, suffered an injury that affected his performance after that rise, and has since struggled with confidence. Hmm … I swear I’ve heard this story before …

Maybe Boesch can find his confidence — and his stroke — again. Then again, maybe that two-and-a-half-month flash of brilliance as a 25-year-old was his apex. On the one hand, the Mets can use all the help they can get in the outfield, especially in the form of someone with power potential. And if you believe Lucas Duda can revive himself, then you have to have some hope for Boesch, as well. On the other hand, bringing in yet another outfielder may only further muddle already murky waters.

What’s your thought? Should the Mets bring Boesch in? Why or why not? Answer in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. MikeT March 13, 2013 at 1:28 pm
    Yes but only because I want to hear about Mets fans calling WFAN and demanding the Mets send “Brandon Boesch” to the minors because he stinks.

    The difference between Duda and Boesch is that Duda has a career .380 OBP in his minor league career and Boesch has a .319. So Duda has a much more sustainable approach than the hack-tastic Boesch. Guy like Boesch show up and perform well right away, but fade out quick. Guys like Duda take a little longer to figure it out (if they ever do, and Duda is clearly still at this point) but can sustain it longer.

  2. Walnutz15 March 13, 2013 at 1:46 pm
  3. Joe Gomes March 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm
    I can’t see why the Mets would want yet another one dimensional player.
    • Joe Janish March 15, 2013 at 11:29 am
      One dimension is better than none?
  4. Tom Wilson March 13, 2013 at 2:41 pm
    Pass on Boesch and give Duda one more year…let Dekker make the team and start him in centerfield until/if his batting average drops below .200
    • Julius LaRosa March 13, 2013 at 6:09 pm
      Let Den Dekker go once he is hitting below .200???…..He’s starting out at .000 so might as well send him down now eh?
      • DaveSchneck March 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm
        Julius, Julius, Julius,
        Did you think I was referring to Jason’s .165 avg, .299 slugging % and .543 POS of 2012? No, no, I’m referring to the point that the Dude is going to put up the same 30hr/100rbi this year that Jason will for his new team in Seattle.
  5. Javier Rosario March 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm
    Awwwww… what the hell?? Why Not!
    If nothing else, He & Luke can comfort each other when they strike out Back-to-Back!
    On the other hand maybe they can morph into the “new Bash Brothers!!” (Hey…it’s Spring… I can dream can’t I?)
  6. DaveSchneck March 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm
    No thanks. Like you said, we already have him. They need to aim higher.
  7. Scott McMan March 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm
    Hmm, I already against my better judgement fell for this scenario when we had Mike Jacobs.

    Man, did he burn it up and I thought I’d better wait for a larger sample, but for some odd reason, I bit on him. Now, I don’t even know if he’s still playing somewhere.

    I’ll take OBP over a flashy power every time and while Duda is not going to be the answer, he is a much more stable alternative to Boesch over the short term.

    I don’t see any of the current Met outfielders being on the opening day roster in 2014, unless it’s as a bench player.

    Sandy has the starting staff pretty much panned out, next it’s rebuilding the pen and the outfield and that won’t happen till after this season ends IMO.

  8. BIll March 13, 2013 at 3:33 pm
    If the Mets can get him to sign a 1 year deal for less than $4 million, it’s a NO BRAINER.
    There is no valid argument for why you would not do this deal. With HANDS DOWN the worst OF in the MLB, Boesch is roughly the production of Jason Bay, minus the huge contract. This guy is a stop gap solution, to at least make this team competitive. Anyone against it… I don’t want to hear any complaining come mid summer when the team is 15 games under .500.
    • Joe Janish March 13, 2013 at 3:38 pm
      I agree with bringing in Boesch, but my ceiling would be closer to $1M than $4M. He only made $2.3M last year and even that was too much.
      • Walnutz15 March 13, 2013 at 3:41 pm
        I only agree with bringing in Boesch to organize a group of rowdies to chant the Stepbrothers chant at him from the bleachers.
      • Rocket Rick March 13, 2013 at 7:49 pm
        Right on Joe Janish – But I’m thinking ceiling would be $2M with performance bonus(es) based on ABs, games, batting.
    • DaveSchneck March 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm
      I am against it only because I prefer a better alternative. We already have Duda, who is Bay’s production at a fraction of Boesch. Instead, Sandy should be pursing a better OF than both and a real closer instead.
      • Julius LaRosa March 13, 2013 at 6:13 pm
        Bay’s production??…Bay’s production last year was non existent.
  9. Metsfan69 March 13, 2013 at 3:46 pm
    NO!!!! He’s another Lucas Duda. A whale who can’t chase down flyballs.
  10. Dan B March 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm
    This reminds me of how most teams arm up the bullpen– throw as many arms as possible against the wall and see if any stick. It is not like we are holding back a blue chip prospect. Sign a dozen outfielders, we might get lucky.
    • Joe Janish March 15, 2013 at 11:32 am
      Agreed. I’d much rather dip into Las Vegas for Brennan Boesch if someone falters than, say, Chip Ambres.
  11. NormE March 13, 2013 at 5:12 pm
    The fact that Detroit released him rather than trade him must tell us something. The Mets have enough #4 outfielders and they certainly don’t need another poor defender.
    Let him go.
    • Joe Janish March 15, 2013 at 11:41 am
      All it tells us is that the Tigers are a championship club with strong outfield depth and other teams had the leverage of knowing the Tigers had no room for Boesch on their roster. More importantly, you have to look at the financial angle — Boesch was due to make $2.3M in 2013 as a Tiger, and there was a good chance he would start the season in AAA. No MLB club wanted Boesch at that salary. By cutting him when they did, the Tigers paid him only 1/6 of his salary; had they waited to the end of camp, it would’ve been 1/4 — so this was as much about money as it was disappointment in his development.
  12. The King March 13, 2013 at 6:00 pm
    Pass. This guy brings nothing you don’t already have, which is nothing. Let some funnyball league team have him.
  13. Rob March 13, 2013 at 6:03 pm
    He’s terrible so….of course!
  14. Kanehl March 13, 2013 at 6:32 pm
    20 X Bad ? Good.

    We’ve already added a half-dozen or so O-T-H or “never was” guys to our core of “not-ready/may never be” home-grown OFs, in the hopes that 2 or 3 of them will be marginally passable to get us through 2013 with no more embarassment than necessary. Adding another just dilutes everyone’s playing time over the next 2 weeks, making a decision even cloudier. Pass.

  15. deb March 13, 2013 at 6:56 pm
    Of course they will, and he will suck and then when he finally gets out of his funk they will trade him away like they trade every good player they get. They stick with them during the bad years and the minute they can dump their overinflated salaries they do it.
  16. Gui Wang March 13, 2013 at 7:11 pm
    No aglee with this. He tellibre Barrprayel and Brow as as hittel. Arr Met Oufierdels brow. Why do we need mole browing prayels on the Mets?
    Prease Ml Wirpon serr the team, ok?
  17. murph March 14, 2013 at 1:05 am
    Adding another “6” to an outfield of 5s and 6s won’t help.
    To improve the outfield, we need an “8” or higher.
  18. TexasGusCC March 14, 2013 at 1:48 am
    I know the Mets need PROVEN outfielders, but because his position is outfielder, is he proven?
    • TexasGusCC March 14, 2013 at 1:58 am
      Let me rephrase that because which proven outfielders will be cut in early March? What I should’ve asked was if this outfielder’s skillset will improve our team. I don’t think so.
  19. Mark March 14, 2013 at 4:42 am
    The Mets needs someone of Boesch talent to actually get them the boost they need in the outfield. What happen last year was nothing more than quick change the channel. The Mets are losing again. If the Mets do get him. They better have a good assessment of him and see if he can get that apex back. If not, drop him like he was a bad habit to get rid of. You got to give him a chance to prove. That he can be a productive player. Who knows, he just might be the new Kingman, or Strawberry.
  20. James March 14, 2013 at 8:47 am
    No. In this case, less is more.
  21. James March 14, 2013 at 8:48 am
    Joe I think you missed this story in the Corona Herald: Mets Use Day Off to Work on their Self-Esteem. Duda: We’re not as bad as we think.
  22. wohjr March 14, 2013 at 12:08 pm
    what’s bobby bo up to? He’s making $$ this year, may as well run him out there and see what he can do
  23. Dan B March 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm
    I see Jason Bay has been hitting leadoff for the Mariners this spring. Wasn’t he a free agent this past winter? Don’t we need a lead off hitter who could play outfield? Why didn’t we give him a look? He signed really cheap, too!
  24. STEPHEN March 14, 2013 at 10:30 pm
  25. Dan B March 16, 2013 at 11:13 am
    Boesch just signed with Yankees for $1.5 million. How can they afford to pay a backup twice the money the Mets pay a starter?
    • Joe Janish March 16, 2013 at 4:17 pm
      Isn’t it obvious, Dan? The Yankees play in a big market, so they have more money. Duh!