Former Red Sox utility man Brock Holt has made the Rangers’ Opening Day roster, per the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant.
Holt, 32, initially signed a minor-league deal with Texas last month and had the ability to opt out of said deal on Wednesday of this week if he was not added to the Rangers’ 40-man roster.
At the time of his signing in February, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that Holt “had major-league offers but chose the Rangers because of the opportunity at third base.”
Since then, the native Texan has appeared in 10 games for the Rangers in Cactus League play thus far and is currently slashing .273/.407/.455 with four doubles, two RBI, five walks, and two stolen bases through his first 27 trips to the plate. He has primarily played third base with a little bit of second base and shortstop mixed in there as well.
A former ninth-round draft pick of the Pirates back in 2009, the left-handed hitting Holt spent 2013-2019 with the Red Sox after being part of the trade that sent reliever Joel Hanrahan to Boston in December in 2012.
In his time with the Sox, Holt emerged as a fan favorite who took on a variety of roles both in the lineup and on the field. He played every defensive position besides pitcher and catcher in his seven seasons in Boston and even earned a trip to the All-Star Game in 2015.
Because of his versatility, the 5-foot-10, 180 pounder proved to be a valuable member of the Red Sox during the club’s historic run to a World Series in 2018. He became the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to hit for the cycle in the postseason in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Yankees that year.
The success Holt enjoyed in 2018 carried over into 2019 — the final season leading up to his free agency– as well, as he posted career-highs in batting average (.297) and on-base percentage (.369) over 87 games played.
Off the field, you can argue that Holt’s impact was even greater. He served as Jimmy Fund captain in each of his final five seasons with the Sox and was the team’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award on four separate occasions.
Despite putting up impressive numbers in his walk year, Holt struggled to latch on with a team last winter before eventually signing a one-year deal with the Brewers last February.
Holt’s time in Milwaukee did not last long, though, as he was cut loose in late August after getting off to a rough 3-for-30 (.100) start at the plate with his new club.
Signing on with the Nationals for the remainder of the year on August 29, Holt bounced back to the tune of a .262/.314/.354 slash line over the course of 20 games and 70 plate appearances before hitting the open market once again in October.
Even while looking to add several versatile left-handed bats who could play multiple positions this winter, the Red Sox never seemed like serious suitors to reunite with Holt.
The former All-Star, now donning the No. 16, instead returns to his hometown team in the Rangers and will look to make an impact down in Arlington as he prepares to embark upon his age-33 season.
As of now, the Red Sox are scheduled to play a four-game weekend series against the Rangers at Globe Life Field from April 29 through May 2, while the Rangers are scheduled to travel to Boston for a three-game weekend series at Fenway Park from August 20 through August 22.
(Picture of Brock Holt: Ralph Freso/Getty Images)