MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the Seattle Mariners have some interest in the Tigers RF Brennan Boesch. While Boesch struggled in 2012, he has shown stretches where he can be an offensive force, and offense is something that Seattle is desperately looking for. Boesch was recently a non tender candidate for the Tigers, but the Tigers smartly decided to do so, because they believed there would be a market for the enigmatic outfielder.
Of course, when we hear of another teams’ interest in one of the Tigers players, I feel it’s my responsibility to speculate on the possible return. Boesch’s offensive struggles in 2012 definitely hurt his value. His struggles extended to his defense as well, but again, there is some evidence that he can have patches of quality production in the major leagues. Seattle would be trying to buy low on Boesch and hope he clicks again. As for the Tigers, there answer could really lie in the hands of a player they used to have. Casper Wells.
Yes, I would be in favor of a Brennan Boesch for Casper Wells trade.
Looking at the Tigers outfield dynamics, the odd man out in the situation is Brennan Boesch. Though I do think he is more likely to be more productive overall than Quintin Berry, Berry does provide a real usable late inning skill in running the bases. Also, while he doesn’t play defense all that well, Berry’s versatility and speed allows him to play CF, something that is needed in Detroit as a backup to Austin Jackson. Boesch being limited to the corners means he isn’t going to start over Andy Dirks or Torii Hunter. His lack of plus defense, being left handed, and lack of top end speed means he doesn’t have late inning utility either. So…he is odd man out right now.
Trading Boesch for Casper Wells could fit that late inning need for the Tigers, as well as provide the right handed bat for a left field platoon with Andy Dirks. Casper Wells mashes left handed pitching enough to be the right hand side of a platoon. His career .838 OPS against lefties would be a welcomed addition to a lineup that typically struggles against lefties for some reason. Defensively, Wells is an above average player. His arm would be plus in either right field or left field. His range factors in the entire outfield have been pretty solid over the years as well.
If you take a look at WAR for the two players, Wells has more than doubled the career total of Boesch, and has done so in about half of the plate appearances. Yes, defense is a large part of that, but if you limit Wells to mostly left handed pitching, and occasional starts against righties to rest Hunter or Jackson, his value could be maximized for the 2013 Tigers. The Mariners could see the potential of Boesch’s bat as a gamble worth taking.
The truth is, Wells is a better player than Boesch, so I definitely would be an advocate of the deal, and it is something that wouldn’t be far fetched either. Instead of signing a guy like Scott Hairston to a good deal of money, this is a move that would make sense for Detroit, and who knows, maybe even Seattle?
What do you all think? Would you be willing to trade Boesch for Casper Wells?