Looking over Morgan Ensberg’s career stats, it’s hard to believe he was forced to sign a minor league contract. Last year, he had an injury plagued season in which he got only 282 ABs. In those ABs, he batted only .230/.320/404. But look at his previous 4 seasons:
2004 was a down year (and that can probably be partially attributed to me drafting him for my fantasy team). But every other season Ensberg has shown an ability to get on base with decent power. He’s only 32, hardly over-the-hill.
Ironically enough, according to baseball-reference.com, one of the players Ensberg is similar to is Scott Brosius. In some ways it is a similar case: Brosius also was coming off an injury plagued down year his first season with the Yanks. But Ensberg is much better an getting on base and has a higher power ceiling.
Bottom line, if Ensberg can hit 270-ish in a part time role, that would likely translate to a 350-360 OBP with some HR power. Plus Ensberg can play 3B, unlike Shelley Duncan. If Ensberg does emerge as a viable threat, it will likely make one of the Yankees other players expendable, be it Duncan (depending on whether or not he has a regression) or even Matsui, who the Yanks could again look to deal.
Either way, seems to be a very wise pickup by Cashman. If it turns out Ensberg is still hurt or can’t cut it, they owe him nothing.