I remember when the Detroit Tigers originally called Brennan Boesch up in 2010. I commented to my readers at the time that he had the look of a guy who would never get sent back down.
Today, the Tigers have released him. The move ends a run of inconsistency, injury, promise, and disappointment. Over bits and pieces of 3 seasons in Detroit, Boesch hit .259 with 42 homers. Detroit gave him an extended run as the regular right fielder in 2012 and he could never make it work, posting a career-worst .240 batting average.
Despite that, the Tigers tendered him a $2.3M contract this offseason, still believing in his promise. By releasing him now the Tigers only have to eat $383,333 of the deal.
This spring Boesch was battling for a bench role on Detroit with the likes of Quintin Berry, Don Kelly, and Jeff Kobernus. He was injured coming into camp and just started playing in games last week. Clearly, the Tigers weren’t thrilled by what they saw.
GM Dave Dombrowski commented that he had, “a half dozen clubs ask about him”, but nobody stepped up and made an offer. Now he is fair game, and at age 27 with what some teams see as still untapped potential, he is sure to get a look.
With Boesch released the possibilities as to the Tigers’ 4-man bench decrease by one.
Backing up Alex Avila will most likely be Brayan Pena. The utility infield gig is a dogfight between Danny Worth and Ramon Santiago. The 1-year Santiago has left on his deal gives him an edge but increased offense this spring from Worth and a vastly better defensive game make him the wise choice.
The Tigers have given rule 5 pickup Jeff Kobernus every chance to impress this spring and he has done that. If camp were to break right now I’d put my money and him and Don Kelly earning roster spots.
The one thing fans will fear with Boesch is that he latches on somewhere too close for comfort and finally realizes that vast potential. The Tigers just weren’t willing to wait any longer.
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