Red Sox Rumors: Division rival showing interest in free-agent Brock Holt
By Sean Penney
A division rival is reportedly showing interest in free-agent utility man Brock Holt, making it increasingly less likely he returns to the Boston Red Sox.
Until he officially signs with another team, a sliver of hope remains that fan-favorite Brock Holt will return to the Boston Red Sox. That door may be closing with interest ramping up for the free-agent super-utility player.
Masslive’s Chris Cotillo reports that the Toronto Blue Jays have shown interest in Holt. The departure of a key figure of Boston’s bench who was beloved by fans and teammates would be the latest disappointment in a frustrating offseason. Losing him to an AL East rival would sting even more.
Holt set career-highs with a .297 batting average and .771 OPS in a part-time role last season. His versatility is a valuable asset but the lack of a clear position could hinder his market by pegging him as a bench player instead of an everyday starter.
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He’s capable of playing any position, aside from pitcher and catcher, but Holt spent the majority of his time in the infield in recent seasons. The Blue Jays infield is stocked with rising stars in third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. shortstop Bo Bichette, and second baseman Cavan Biggio. Toronto could be interested in Holt’s ability to back up each position while serving as a veteran mentor for their young infielders.
The Cincinnati Reds were previously rumored to be interested in Holt. The Reds appear focused on an offensive upgrade at shortstop. Holt is capable of holding down the position and his production at the plate would be an improvement over Freddy Galvis.
The Jays and Reds are two rising teams trending toward playoff contention. They may not be ready for that level in 2020 but if a multi-year deal is on the table then Holt could be swayed by their bright futures.
The growing list of suitors for Holt shrinks the chances of the Red Sox retaining him. Boston essentially signaled their intention to let him walk when they acquired Jose Peraza to fill the backup infielder role. They could find room for Holt on their roster but finding room in their tight budget would be more of a challenge. Perhaps they are waiting out the market to see if Holt can be retained at a bargain but that seems unlikely now that multiple other teams are involved.
We’re nearing the point where Red Sox fans will be forced to reluctantly accept that the Brockstar isn’t coming back. If he is indeed moving on, hopefully it will be to a National League city instead of one residing in the AL East. If he can’t play for our team, we certainly don’t want Holt coming back to haunt us.