The Boston Red Sox have had an exhausting offseason and it only got worse as the news broke that free-agent Brock Holt will be signing with the Brewers.
This should be one of the most exciting times of the season, and yet, it feels a bit empty. With all of the drama surrounding the team this winter, things finally felt like they were leveling out, then Red Sox Nation took another gut punch.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic broke the news Monday that Brock Holt will be signing with the Milwaukee Brewers, pending a physical. Many will gloss over the fact that Holt is now heading to another considering the organization just traded away a generational player in Mookie Betts. However, the role that Brock played for the Red Sox is one that is often imitated but can rarely be duplicated.
I’m trying to not sound too dramatic but the guy literally played every position last season that wasn’t behind the plate or on the mound. Seven of the nine positions that the Red Sox fielded in 2019 at one point had Holt’s name next to it. That level of versatility is something that every team in the league desires, whether they’ll admit it or not.
I’ve been on the “Brock Holt War Wagon,” for years and this one definitely hurts. Not only due to what he does on the field, but for everything that he’s done for the community in Boston. He was the team captain for the Jimmy Fund and gave numerous hours of his time to make others smile.
I’ll even admit that I had my tinfoil hat on and thought that the Sox had Holt in their back pocket for when the Betts trade was made official. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.
Boston has been in the middle of a cheating scandal all winter long, separated from their manager, and traded away former MVP and Cy Young winners. It just made sense in my mind that they would want to bring back as much positivity for 2020 as they could. Once that money was freed up thanks to the trade with LA it felt inevitable that the Red Sox would announce Holt’s re-signing.
Though he wasn’t signed until spring training kicked off, Brock had plenty of attention this offseason. Toronto, Cincinnati, Arizona, and finally Milwaukee all had feelers out for the utilityman. Oddly enough Boston has a surplus of both infielders and outfielders, but it’s thanks to an influx of both younger and newer talent.
Having the veteran influence that Holt offers would allow Ron Roenicke to stabilize his roster going into 2020. Not to forget the level of joy this guy has while playing the game and how it flows throughout the clubhouse.
Look no further than when he rushes to give J.D. Martinez a bear hug after the slugger hits a moon bomb. That kind of passion and excitement for the game and for the success of one’s teammates is hard to replicate.
It’s no surprise that Brock garnered the attention that he did this winter as he was coming off of a heroic effort in the 2018 postseason and a fantastic 2019 campaign. The infielder posted a strong .297/.369/.402/.771 line with 3 homers and 31 RBI in 2019.
Don’t forget on the way to the 2018 World Series he became the only player in MLB history to hit for the cycle in the postseason. Oh, and he did it in Yankee Stadium. EVER HEARD OF IT?!?
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Brock was never the flashiest guy on the field or posted the highest stats in the clubhouse, but he is one hell of a team player. He never once flinched when the skipper called and always went into the game ready to give it his all. Well, he did successfully negotiate his way out of catching last season, so maybe not always willing. The moral of the story is that he is the type of player that any manager would want to have on his 40-man as he can truly do anything he’s asked to.
As I said before, the money was now there as Boston had gotten under the CBT thanks to the Dodger deal, it felt like Brock was staying for sure at that point. It’s not like he’s walking into Chaim Bloom’s office demanding $10M/year. I truly feel that a strong deal in the neighborhood of 3 years, $12M would’ve gotten the job done, plus it’s a huge raise for him.
I’m not going to try and sit here and say that Brock is on par with Mookie as that’s just ridiculous. He is, however, one hell of a player that can move around the diamond at a moment’s notice. Milwaukee is not only getting a reliable player that can help them fill in any gaps in their lineup but can also lift the spirits of the community. Brock Holt will be missed by Red Sox Nation and the Brewers got themselves one hell of a guy.