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Ensberg Deal Official

Per Jerry Crasnick:

Former All-Star third baseman Morgan Ensberg has reached agreement on a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Ensberg will earn a base salary of $650,000 if he makes the major league club out of spring training.

As Crasnick notes, we actually had the story last week.

Ensberg may or may not be done, but this is a nice low-risk signing.

Ensberg said he’ll have an opportunity to back up Evan Longoria at third base and Carlos Pena at first for the defending AL champion Rays, and that he’s also willing to fill in at second base and left field. If he doesn’t make the major league roster, he will begin the season with Triple-A Durham.

Ensberg has been a slightly below average fielder at the corners the past few years. Here are his +/- and UZR ratings:

3B PlusMinus UZR INN
2006 7.2 5.1 975
2007 -6.4 -6.5 585
2008 -4 -2 133

For whatever reason Ensberg has been poor defensively as of late, part of that is the amount of plays he's made -- or not made rather -- to his left:

Plays Right On Left
2006 -2 3 11
2007 -6 -2 -1
2008 -1 -5 0

Unfortunately we don't have +/- data available pre-2006, so how good he was in 2005 or 2004 or whenever is unknown. Moving forward I would assume he's slightly below average at third and average at first. He'd likely be fine in left unless the problem is purely foot speed, as for second base, well, it depends on his skillset. Tango's Fan Scouting Report painted this picture of Ensberg during his time in Houston:

Year Instincts First Step Speed Hands Release Strength Accuracy
2006 70 64 51 63 63 66 62
2007 61 63 53 60 66 63 53

What does that mean? Well, Ensberg's arm accuracy was rated lower, but otherwise the fans thought he was still decent defensively. I'm not going to write him off as a potential second baseman -- what does this mean for Ben Zobrist's future with the team anyways? -- but for now I'm going to put him around -5 < x > -10 runs there.