In an offseason full of debatable decisions, letting Brock Holt walk won’t go down well with fans. His replacement, Jose Peraza, has big shoes to fill.
There’s no doubt that this year’s offseason has been a busy one for the Red Sox. With Chaim Bloom taking the reigns at the helm of a new-look front office, there have been a number of huge decisions to be made which will have a lasting impact on the franchise’s future. Some were bigger than others – the decision to trade Mookie Betts – and others are of a smaller scale but still leave an impact on the fan base and the clubhouse as a whole.
This will be the case with the departure of Fenway favorite Brock Holt. The super-utility lefty had been with the Red Sox since 2013, and although it looked likely that the Sox weren’t going to bring him back due to monetary cuts, fans hoped that he’d be back in Boston for the upcoming season.
Back in November 2019, MLB Trade Rumours projected that Holt would earn $8 million over two years. He ended up getting $3.25 million for a year with the Milwaukee Brewers. Instead of paying Holt, the Red Sox went with utility second baseman José Peraza who spent the last four seasons with the Cincinnati Reds.
The 25-year-old Peraza definitely has more of an upside then Holt, who is six years his elder, but at $3 million for the year were the Sox better off just bringing back a familiar face in a time where so much is changing? Maybe so.
From a baseball perspective it could be the right time for both Holt and the Red Sox to go their separate ways after a tenure which saw Holt become an All-Star and play such a big role in bringing a championship to Boston.
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However, looking at the contract Holt got from the Brewers, Bloom might be thinking that they made a mistake in terms of fan popularity at least. Losing your franchise player in Betts is one way to ruin an offseason, but letting another beloved player walk over the sake of a small figure in baseball terms shows that Bloom doesn’t care about all of that and is ultimately here to do his job no matter who gets annoyed by the process.
Peraza only hit .239 last year but has shown that he can get going at the plate – something he’ll need to get to quickly to get the fans behind him in Boston. The positives from him being the Holt replacement are mostly to do with his versatility. This roster was always going to need a utility player like Holt so Peraza might just be the next best thing. He’ll be able to cover most of the positions and will likely spend time all over the place as this Red Sox side looks to remain as competitive as possible in this transitional period.
Ultimately, baseball that will count is just around the corner and Red Sox Nation just have to get behind their team. Every baseball fan knows how good of a job Bloom did in Tampa Bay and there’s no doubt that he’s a talented hire for this team. It was known what the Red Sox were going to do to start off under him and now he’s doing it.
In a few years time we might look back on this thinking whoever would have questioned his methods. Of course, we’ll have to wait to see if that becomes the truth but for now back the team, the players that are on it and remember the memories that departing faces left on this ball club.