Red Sox Rumors: Free agent Brock Holt may be heading elsewhere
The Boston Red Sox have plenty of players in the free-agent pool and it looks like one of their most important could be taking his talents elsewhere.
The Red Sox have some work to do this winter and they have a tight budget within which to achieve those tasks. Going into this offseason we knew of Boston’s needs and who they would be losing free agency with many of the departed likely to not return. One name felt as close to unanimous as you can get for someone the fanbase wanted back, Brock Holt.
Per MLB Trade Rumors, it looks as if Brock may be seeing an offer from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the tone of two-years/$8M. If this does happen, Holt will be reunited with Arizona GM Mike Hazen, who was the GM for Boston from September 2015-October 2016.
The rumored salary would be an increase from what he earned in 2019 ($3.575M) and may be out of Boston’s budgetary reach. If the Sox weren’t trying to slash payroll to reset their CBT penalties I believe they would’ve made Holt an offer before the offseason arrived. With that monetary goal in mind though, every cent is important towards the endgame.
It’s no secret that Red Sox Nation loves Holt, myself included. I’ve spoken multiple times about his impending and now existing free agency and how it should’ve been avoided. What Holt offers a team goes beyond the scorecard and highlight reels. He’s the ultimate clubhouse guy that can bring any group together. Brock is also a leader in the community and is captain of the Jimmy Fund for the Red Sox.
His efforts off the field make him desirable to any club almost more than what he can do on it. However, I shouldn’t gloss over the quality of player that Brock has become during his time in Boston. Holt’s .297/.369/.402/.771 stat line for 2019 would be one of the best in his career despite missing much of the season due to injury and a scratched cornea. Pretty damn good for a guy in a contract year with just half a season to work with.
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Holt’s appeal in the lineup isn’t centered around his offense but more so his defensive capabilities. Not only is he a quality second baseman but he’s versatile enough to play anywhere in the field as well as the outfield corners. The fact that you can plug him into any position or role in the lineup makes him a great asset for any manager.
Even allowing Brock to get to free agency feels like a mistake but also falls in line with some of the questionable decisions in the final year of Dave Dombrowski’s tenure. With all of the spending that Dealin’ Dave was doing, it wouldn’t have been a massive hit to the budget to extend a guy that wants to stay in the organization.
We may be well past that time now with everything that’s happening with the Red Sox front office. I’m not saying Chaim Bloom would be against re-signing Brock but with the CBT target set forth by ownership, I can’t see him splashing the cash down. Even though he isn’t commanding a big payday, any spending right now seems like a wish more than a reality.
Losing Brock Holt will be a massive hit to the Red Sox whether they see that or not. I know that may sound dramatic but for what he offers not only to the clubhouse but to the community, it’s true. As of now, this is still a rumor but usually, where there’s smoke there’s fire and we could see him sign at any time. If Boston wants to keep the chemistry as positive as possible in 2020 then they need to go out and bring back Holt.