The Brewers may not be connected to many exciting names so far this offseason, but it sure looks like Doug Melvin knows what he’s looking for, and he’s acting quickly to fill those spots. After signing hefty righty Zack Segovia to a minor league deal earlier this week, Melvin again made a relatively low-profile move, signing former Rangers outfielder Brandon Boggs to a major league contract.
If you listen carefully, you can probably hear all the cracks about Melvin signing another former Ranger. This isn’t another patented Melvin “I’ve had this guy before so I really know what I have” signing, though — Boggs was drafted by the Rangers after Melvin had already left. Still fun to joke about it, though.
Offensively, Boggs is the kind of guy I personally like seeing on the bench — patient, with a bit of pop. He had a BB% of 16.4% for Triple A Oklahoma City last season, and posted an ISO (SLG-AVG) of .180 after hitting .290/.406/.470. Also helping his cause is the fact that he’s a switch hitter — the Brewers haven’t really had a consistent switch-hitter on their bench since 2008, when they traded for Ray Durham. Before that, you have to go back to Chris Magruder in 2005. Let’s just hope this works out better than Magruder did.
A lot of people seem to think this means Carlos Gomez is in trouble, but I’m not so sure. Consider this:
1. Gomez is still very good defensively. Yeah, he’s prone to throwing to the wrong base or uncorking a throw over the catcher’s head, but no one else on the roster can cover as much ground as him in centerfield. On a team that’s, uh, lacking defensively in the outfield, this becomes valuable. Boggs has played all three outfield spots in the past, but I prefer Gomez’s tools in center.
2. Consider the new manager. We probably won’t know how Ron Roenicke feels about Gomez until he gets to see him up close, but a guy with Gomez’s speed is probably appealing to Roenicke when you consider his managing style. Yes, Gomez still can’t get on base, but that speed may be enticing enough to the new boss to at least buy him another year.
3. As a very similar player compared to Boggs, Chris Dickerson is probably in bigger trouble. When Dickerson’s been healthy, his numbers have looked a lot like Boggs’. Being a left-handed bat in a predominantly right-handed outfield helps Dickerson, but Boggs is a switch hitter who is better batting left-handed than right-handed. Dickerson has options available, Boggs does not. If Roenicke feels it’s close at the end of spring training, Dickerson may be the one getting sent down.