The Red Sox need to make re-signing Brock Holt a major priority
The Boston Red Sox have a number of big-name free agents coming due in the next few seasons but one name that shouldn’t be ignored is Brock Holt.
It’s no secret that the Red Sox front office will be working overtime once this season ends. With a six-game deficit to overcome in the wild card race, it’s hard to see a future with postseason baseball. The team surely hasn’t given up and Red Sox Nation is firmly behind them, but sometimes you need to be realistic and look to the future instead of the present.
For Boston, that means sitting down and prioritizing their upcoming free agents, the highest of which in the 2020 class is Brock Holt. Most will be calling for a deal for Mookie Betts, but he’s made it clear that despite his desire to remain in Boston, he wants to test the market in 2021 and get paid. Then there’s the will he-won’t he with J.D. Martinez and his contract status. It’s going to be a stressful time in the Sox front office for the foreseeable future as they won’t be catching any breaks anytime soon.
As for the remainder of the upcoming class, it’s a who’s who of beloved players and guys most couldn’t pick out of a lineup. Names like Rick Porcello, Mitch Moreland, and Steve Pearce round out the upper level of Red Sox players that’ll soon be on the market.
Pearce was rewarded this offseason for his World Series heroics with a 1-year/$6.25M deal that has seen him get paid to do everything BUT play baseball. Mitchy Two-Bags may be approaching his 34th year on this planet but he’s still producing in both facets of the game and could likely see a one-year low-cost deal to remain with the Sox.
Then there’s Porcello, the definition of a yo-yo pitcher, one season he’s up and the next he can’t find the mound. I don’t see Boston extending his stay whatsoever this winter.
That brings me back to the man of the hour, the man with the power, and if you see any of his videos with his son then you know he’s too sweet to be sour. Brock has been such an asset and great member of Red Sox organization that it’s impossible to imagine him in another jersey.
Not only does he show up to the ballpark every day ready to go and is willing to play wherever Alex Cora needs him, but he does so with excitement and eagerness to help his team win.
"“I play when I’m told, and when I’m in the lineup, I try to do a good job,” Holt said, choosing his words carefully. “I’m not going to come in here flipping tables when I’m not playing. I would like to play more, but my job is to be ready when my name is called.”"
Brock is finishing up his eighth year in the league, all of which have been in Boston except his rookie season. He came to Beantown through a trade with the Pirates and he’s been one of Boston’s favorite sons ever since. Whether it be on the field or cracking jokes in the clubhouse, Brock is the spark of the Red Sox.
Look no further than this past week when he was the hero not just once but twice in the span of just a few days. He came up in the bottom of the tenth in the resumed game with Kansas City and smacked a walk-off single which was followed by one of the best celebrations of all-time. Then just hours later in the top of the ninth against the Padres, he’d smack a bomb that would give the Sox a 5-4 victory.
But what Brock gives this team and city can be seen well beyond his time on the diamond, just look at his countless hours giving back through the Jimmy Fund. It’s not something that feels like an obligation, he truly and deeply loves visiting with the children and their families.
For that moment, there is no sickness or sadness for these kids, just laughter, and joy that their favorite player came to see them and share with them his time.
Brock has done amazing work as the Jimmy Fund Captain and his charitable contributions can be felt throughout all of Red Sox Nation. With Brock Holt there isn’t just a player with a stat sheet, there’s someone who has fully embraced this community and in return has become beloved by those around him.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe spoke with Brock and it’s pretty clear where the utility superstars head is at.
"“I want to be somewhere where me and my family are happy,” Holt said. “Obviously I love it here and I would love to stay here. But free agency is something I haven’t experienced and I don’t know what to expect. We’ll see what happens. I just want to be comfortable and happy.”"
This isn’t the first time that Holt has spoken on the subject of remaining in Boston for the long-haul but much like Betts, he knows baseball is a business as well. There’s a way that the Red Sox can have their cake and eat it too and it would benefit both Holt and the organization.
With his injury report, they can build in clauses much as they did with the contract for Martinez. Dave Dombrowski can also offer a win-win favorable deal that can keep Brock in Boston while also paying him what he’s worth.
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When it comes to contracts things can get ugly in a hurry as we saw with Pearce and now Chris Sale. But when you have a player that transcends the field and means so much to the, you have to take that into consideration.
This is one of those occasions when looking beyond the diamond may mean as much as what happens on it. With his ability to play damn near anywhere Cora needs him to he is an asset that the Red Sox can afford to lose.
I don’t know what terms would make everyone happy, but a simple 3-year/$12M deal would give him security as well as a raise. It would also allow Boston to continue grooming guys like Michael Chavis, Tzu-Wei Lin, and Marco Hernandez while having a veteran ready to go when needed.
Brock Holt is a special player in that he not only contributes on the field but off. He’s constantly spoken about as a locker room leader and a guy that can get the chemistry back on track. The work he does with the Jimmy Fund is amazing and truly speaks to the type of person he is. If the Red Sox make any deals this winter, the first one they put pen to paper on needs to be for Brock Holt.