Boesch, 27, fits into much the same mold as Mike Carp: low-defense left-handed bats without enough impact to justify playing them in positions like left field and first base. Boesch has a little more experience than Carp in the majors, thanks to his ability to hold down a major role with the Tigers over the last few years, but he's certainly not the kind of guy you want to slot into the lineup every day.
Boesch's 2012 performance was also like Carp's: terrible enough to earn him the boot from his original franchise. After hitting .240/.286/.372 on the year, Boesch was given his walking orders, leaving the Red Sox free to pick him up without any need to compensate the Tigers.
And, just like Carp, Boesch has better numbers against lefties than righties in his short career. The sample size makes any such numbers a bit suspect, but on the whole it's not what you want to see from a guy whose only real role will be spelling the players who excel against lefties.
If there's a deciding factor between the two, it's that Carp does have some limited experience at first base, while Boesch has none. Carp hasn't exactly made the best use of his opportunity so far in spring training, striking out 10 times in 23 at bats, so maybe the Red Sox are interested in trying the reset button with the similar Boesch. But without any first base experience to offer, Boesch would seem to be pointless in the face of Daniel Nava, who actually had a decent season last year both at the plate and in the field.
It's easy to just ignore this sort of news as unimportant given the low cost that comes with it, but perhaps there's more to this than just that. If the Red Sox are, in fact, seriously considering Boesch with just over two weeks left to go until Opening Day, it might signal that they're unhappy with their current options. Ryan Sweeney is performing well in spring training and is the best defender of anyone involved, making him the likely frontrunner. Meanwhile, Lyle Overbay is holding his own, and Daniel Nava likely has some advantage as an incumbent. Boesch doesn't seem very likely to make any waves, but just the fact that the Sox are keeping an eye out might be noteworthy.