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Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Ex-Tiger Boesch makes sense for Cubs, Sox

By Bruce Levine

Boesch
A change of scenery might benefit Brennan Boesch, who has power from the left side.
MESA, Ariz. -- The Detroit Tigers may have done the Chicago White Sox or Chicago Cubs a favor by releasing outfielder Brennan Boesch on Wednesday.

Boesch, who will be 28 next month, had a strained oblique early in spring training and had just started to play again. He is a lifetime .259 hitter with 42 home runs and 175 RBIs. His best season was in 2010 when he batted .283 with 16 home runs, 54 RBIs and a .799 OPS. Boesch missed the entire 2011 season after undergoing right thumb surgery and batted .240 with 12 home runs in 132 games last season.

Two talent evaluators told ESPNChicago.com that a change of scenery might be the best thing for Boesch.

"This kid lost his confidence last season," an American League scout said. "He has good power and runs well for a big man. I think a number of clubs will make him an offer."

Both Chicago teams are looking for young power hitters who can fit into their long- and short-term plans.

Although the Cubs have two starting outfielders who hit from the left side, neither David DeJesus or Nate Schierholtz are considered power hitters. Boesch is a natural right fielder who has average skills on defense, runs well and has a power stroke. The swing and miss factor is also part of the equation with him.

"I think you are always looking," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "You are always looking to better your team or a position. Whatever comes up on the waiver wire or releases, (president) Theo (Epstein) and (general manager) Jed (Hoyer) are always looking at those kind of things. Sometimes you say 'Oh man, that guy became available. He might fit in here good. That (talk) is always going on. That is just the nature of the game."

The White Sox have been looking for a left-handed hitter with some pop since November. The outfield is set with Alejandro DeAza, Dayan Viciedo and Alex Rios with left-handed hitter Dewayne Wise backing up. As for the everyday lineup, the Sox feature just two left-handed hitters in DeAza and Adam Dunn. That scenario leaves the lineup vulnerable to dominant right-handed pitching staffs such as the Tigers.