Former Red Sox fan favorite Brock Holt retires from baseball

Former Red Sox fan favorite Brock Holt is calling it a career. The 34-year-old took to Instagram on Thursday afternoon to officially announce his retirement from baseball.

“Damn it that was fun,” Holt wrote. “For parts of 10 years I got to do the only thing I ever wanted to do…play Major League Baseball. Today I hang them up knowing I did the best I could for me, my family, and my teammates. I’m proud of every single second of it. If you were a part of it at any point…know that I love you and I am forever grateful! We had one hell of a ride.”

Originally selected by the Pirates in the ninth round of the 2009 amateur draft out of Rice University, Holt first broke in with Pittsburgh towards the tail end of the 2012 season. That December, he and veteran reliever Joel Hanrahan were traded to the Red Sox in exchange for four players, including Mark Melancon.

Holt would spend the next seven seasons in Boston, gradually establishing himself as a versatile and valuable utility player. In 2014, he finished eighth in American League Rookie of the Year voting. The following year, he hit for his first career cycle and made his first career All-Star team.

From 2016-2018, Holt helped the Red Sox win three straight American League East titles. During Boston’s memorable World Series run in 2018, the left-handed hitter hit for the first (and only) cycle in MLB postseason history in Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium.

In his seven seasons with the Red Sox, Holt played every defensive position besides pitcher and catcher. Off the field, the native Texan was Boston’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award on four separate occasions thanks in part to his work as the Red Sox’ Jimmy Fund captain.

After reaching free agency at the conclusion of the 2019 campaign, Holt signed a one-year deal with the Brewers the following February. But he was limited to just 16 games with Milwaukee during the COVID-shortened season before being designated for assignment that August. He finished the year with the Nationals and made his return to an empty Fenway Park later that summer.

Last February, Holt signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers and made the club’s Opening Day roster out of spring training. While his .579 OPS left much to be desired, he made one appearance as a pitcher against the Athletics on Aug. 7 and threw the slowest pitch to be called a strike in an MLB game since the league began tracking pitches in 2008. It was a 31.1 mph first-pitch eephus that got Josh Harrison looking.

Holt once again became a free agent last winter before inking a minors pact with the Braves in March. The deal included an invite to major-league spring training, but Holt ultimately asked for and was granted his release when he realized he was not going to make the team out of camp.

While Holt was unable to latch on with another club this past season, he did keep himself busy. In June, he paid a visit to Fenway Park to reconnect with some old teammates. In September, he was a part of NESN’s pre- and postgame coverage as a studio analyst while the Red Sox were in Cincinnati for a two-game series against the Reds.

Now that he has officially retired from playing baseball, Holt very well could be in NESN’s future plans for 2023 and beyond. As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the network has previously discussed bringing on Holt as part of its Red Sox coverage moving forward. Whether that coverage comes from the studio or broadcast booth has yet to be determined.

In the meantime, Holt is planning on running the Boston Marathon in 2023. He and his wife, Lakyn, will run to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute next April.

All told, Holt steps away from the game as a veteran of 10 big-league seasons. He collected 621 career hits and clubbed 25 home runs over 751 total games between the Pirates, Red Sox, Brewers, Nationals, Rangers. A career .262 hitter, Holt’s accolades include one All-Star selection and two World Series championships in 2013 and 2018. He was also a well-respected teammate and is still to this day adored by Red Sox fans.

(Picture of Brock Holt: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox close out road trip by blowing another lead in 5-3 loss to Brock Holt’s Rangers

Despite strong efforts from Garrett Richards on the mound and Xander Bogaerts at the plate, the Red Sox squandered yet another lead in the process of dropping another winnable game to the Rangers by a final score of 5-3 on Sunday.

After getting a quality outing from Richards and a scoreless sixth inning from Darwinzon Hernandez, the Sox turned things over to Garrett Whitlock with a 3-1 lead to work with in the seventh.

Whitlock, who had not surrendered a run through his six big-league appearances, served up a solo home run to the first man he faced in Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, Whitlock gave up the homer to Kiner-Falefa on an 83 mph changeup, marking the first time he had given up a hit on that particular pitch this seaason.

Adam Ottavino was responsible for the eighth, and he walked the first batter he faced — Nate Lowe– to put the tying run on base.

Lowe stole second base to advance into scoring position, then scored from second on an RBI single from David Dahl, which knotted things up at three runs a piece.

Another walk from Ottavino resulted in the righty getting the hook in favor of Matt Barnes for a rare eighth inning appearance.

With one out to get and runners at first and second in the eighth, Barnes was greeted by old friend Brock Holt, who gave the Rangers their first lead of the afternoon by lacing a hard-hit single to center field that Alex Verdugo could not come up with cleanly.

One run was already going to score regardless, but Verdugo’s miscue — which was ruled a fielding error — allowed another runner to cross the plate for Texas to put them up 5-3 going into the ninth.

Richards allows one run over five innings

Richards, making his sixth start of the season for Boston, allowed just one earned run on four hits and one walk to go along with seven strikeouts over five solid innings of work on Sunday.

The lone Rangers run the right-hander gave up came in the bottom half of the fourth, when Joey Gallo led things off with a double, advanced to third on a flyout, and scored on a groundout.

Outside of that, it’s fair to say Richards was not as efficient as he was in his last time out against the Mets, but he was still effective nonetheless.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 93 (63 strikes), the 32-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 48% of the time he was on the mound Sunday, inducing five swings-and-misses and topping out at 96.4 mph with the pitch.

Hit with the no decision in this one, Richards’ next start should come against the Orioles in Baltimore next weekend.

Renfroe and Bogaerts give Red Sox early two-run lead

Matched up against right-hander Mike Foltynewicz for the Rangers, the Red Sox jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top half of the second when Bogaerts led off with a single and came around to score on a Hunter Renfroe RBI groundout later in the inning.

Fast forward to the fourth, and Bogaerts struck again, this time taking Foltynewicz 435 feet to deep center field for his fifth home run of the season.

Bogaerts’ big fly, which had an exit velocity of 103.7 mph, to lead off the top of the fourth gave Boston a 2-0 advantage.

After Texas tacked on a run of their own, Enrique Hernandez provided what at the time looked to be an important insurance run in the seventh when he drove in Renfroe on an RBI single, but it would not prove to be enough in the end.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position on Sunday. They left five runners on base as a team.

Per Baseball Savant, the Red Sox had a 70% chance to win this game at the midway point of the eighth inning.

Next up: Off day

After closing out a 3-3 six-game road trip, the 17-12 Red Sox will have a day off on Monday before opening up a three-game series against the Tigers at Fenway Park on Tuesday.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta is slated to get the ball for Boston. Detroit has yet to name a starter.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Former Red Sox utilityman Brock Holt makes Rangers’ Opening Day roster

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)

Red Sox’ Nathan Eovaldi named 2021 Jimmy Fund Captain

Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi has been named the Jimmy Fund captain for the 2021 season, the organization announced Tuesday.

Eovaldi, who has spent the last 2 1/2 seasons with the Red Sox, will become Jimmy Fund Captain for the first time.

The 31-year-old hurler takes over for former Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland, who was traded to the Padres last August before signing a one-year deal with the Athletics in February.

As Jimmy Fund Captain, “Eovaldi will help encourage fans to step up to the plate and help strike out cancer by getting involved with the Jimmy Fund.”

His responsibilities include: attending fundraising events, visiting patients, and acting as an ambassador for Dana-Farber’s research and care mission.

Boston’s previous two Jimmy Fund Captains — Moreland and Brock Holt — were nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award on at least one occasion in their time with the Sox.

The partnership between the Jimmy Fund and the Red Sox dates back to 1953 when team owner Tom Yawkey “announced that his team would adopt the Jimmy Fund as its official charity and continue the tradition started by the Braves” after the then-Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee.

Since that time, the Sox’ relationship with the Jimmy Fund grew to a point where an annual radio-telethon has been held each year at Fenway Park since 2002.

The annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon unfortunately had to be cancelled last summer due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but the event has still raised more than $57 million to support pediatric and adult cancer care and research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute since its inception.

For more information about the Jimmy Fund, click here.

For more information about the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon, click here.

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Nationals Sign Former Red Sox Utilityman Brock Holt To One-Year Deal

The Nationals have signed former Red Sox utilityman Brock Holt to a one-year deal, the club announced Saturday.

Holt, who turned 32 in June, was designated for assignment and subsequently released by the Brewers on August 26, just over six months after signing a one-year, $3.25 million contract with Milwaukee at the onset of spring training in February.

With the Brewers, Holt suffered a sprained ankle after stepping on a baseball right before Opening Day and got his 2020 season off to a slow start. In 16 games, the Texas native accrued just three hits in 30 plate appearances (.100) with one run scored, one RBI, and four walks prior to getting designated.

Even while Holt was on the open market for a few days, it never seemed like the Red Sox were too interested in a reunion with the 2015 All-Star seeing how the likes of Jose Peraza, Michael Chavis, Jonathan Arauz, and Tzu-Wei Lin are already on Boston’s active roster and can all play multiple positions.

As it turns out though, Holt, who will wear No. 27 for the Nationals, has already been added to Washington’s 28-man squad, meaning he could very well see some playing time against the Sox at Fenway Park before weekend’s end.

According to Nats manager Dave Martinez, Holt will get a chance to “play everywhere” with his new club, so there’s that.

Brewers Designate Former Red Sox Utiltyman Brock Holt for Assignment

The Brewers have designated former Red Sox utilityman Brock Holt for assignment, the club announced Saturday.

After signing a one-year deal with Milwaukee back in February, Holt had gotten off to a tough start with his new club.

Through his first 16 games with the Brewers, the 32-year-old was 3-for-30 (.100) at the plate with one run scored and one RBI over 36 plate appearances while playing third base and both corner outfield positions.

Holt’s struggles thus far could be linked to the fact he sprained his ankle after stepping on a baseball before Opening Day. The Texas native has still been able to make a handful of fine defensive plays despite that ailment, but it was not enough to remain on Milwaukee’s 40-man roster moving forward.

As it goes with all players who get designated, Holt will either be claimed, traded, or clear waivers entirely within the next seven days. Because the former All-Star has more than three years of service time, he can reject an outright assignment and opt for free agency if he so chooses.

That possibility could open up a potential pathway for Holt to reunite with the Red Sox, the club he had spent the previous nine seasons with. Of course, that would likely only happen if he clears waivers and becomes a free agent, for I could not see Chaim Bloom and Co. using a 40-man roster spot on this version of Holt right now.

Red Sox’ Mitch Moreland Named 2020 Jimmy Fund Captain

Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland has been named the Jimmy Fund captain for the 2020 season, the organization announced earlier Friday.

Moreland, who has spent the past three seasons with the Red Sox and re-signed with the club in Januray, will become Jimmy Fund captain for the first time. The spot opened up when former Boston utilityman Brock Holt inked a one-year deal with the Brewers back in February.

As Jimmy Fund captain, Moreland’s responsibilities will include “attend[ing] fundraising events, visit[ing] patients and build[ing] support for cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute” in addition to “encourag[ing] fans to step up to the plate and help strike out cancer by getting involved with Jimmy Fund events.”

The Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund have been charitable partners since 1953. Their relationship is probably most signified by the annual WEEI / NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon, which began in 2002 and has raised millions for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Moreland took to Instagram to celebrate the announcement, writing, “Grateful for the opportunity to be a part of @thejimmyfund Thank you for giving me the role as the 2020 Captain.”

Given the current circumstances, it’s difficult to say what Moreland’s role with the Jimmy Fund will look like in 2020. Still, he was a great choice to fill the captain vacancy nonetheless.

Brock Holt Bids Farewell to Red Sox in Touching Instagram Post

In case you missed it, former Red Sox utilityman Brock Holt officially inked a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers earlier Wednesday, meaning he will no longer be part of the organization he had spent the previous seven years with.

For both his work on and off the field, Holt emerged as a fan favorite in Boston, and he expressed his gratitude towards the city in a touching farewell Instagram post Wednesday.

“Boston. You turned a Texas boy into one of your own,” Holt wrote in the above caption. “It has been my absolute honor to play for your team and be a part of your city. Baseball is just that. Baseball. It doesn’t last forever. The relationships I’ve built will. I became a husband, a father, and a champion while playing for you.”

While with the Red Sox, the Texas native married his wife Lakyn in November 2013 and the two welcomed their first child, Griffin, in December 2016. He also played an integral role for the Sox during their historic run to a World Series title in 2018.

“I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has been a part of this chapter with us,” Holt added. “And thank you for letting me be a part of yours. It was a damn good time!”

Since the start of the 2015 season, Holt had served as the Red Sox’ Jimmy Fund captain and was the club’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award on four separate occasions because of it.

The 31-year-old had become a steady veteran presence in Boston’s clubhouse over the last few years and seemed to have close relationships with several of his teammates, including Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez.

“He was a character in here,” Martinez said of Holt’s departure. “He was fun to be around. You wish him the best, but that’s the business side of it.”

As Holt wrote in his Instagram post, “Baseball is just that. Baseball. It doesn’t last forever. The relationships I’ve built will.” He will be missed and I am already looking forward to the Brewers’ trip to Fenway Park in early June.

Brock Holt Officially Signs With Brewers

Former Red Sox utilityman Brock Holt has officially signed a one-year major-league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, thus putting an end to any hope the versatile 31-year-old could return to Boston in 2020.

Although it has not been revealed how much Holt will earn in 2020, his new contract with Milwaukee does include a club option for 2021, so it could in essence be a two-year deal depending on how the coming season pans out.

A former throw-in the trade that was headlined by reliever Joel Hanrahan going from the Pirates to the Red Sox, Holt had spent the previous seven seasons with Boston.

After making his Sox debut during an up-and-down 2013 campaign, the Rice University product emerged as a fan and clubhouse favorite beginning in 2014, a year in which he finished eighth in American League Rookie of the Year voting while playing in a then-career-best 106 contests.

The 2015 season was when Holt really burst onto the scene though, as he hit for the cycle for the first time in his career on June 16th and was named to his first All-Star team a month later, being the only Red Sox player to get an All-Star nod that year.

Despite finishing in last place in the American League East for the second straight year in ’15, the Sox saw Holt become a valuable asset to their club both on and off the field.

In total, the former ninth-round pick played seven different positions over 129 games that year. It was also the first time he was recognized as the Red Sox’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for his work with the Jimmy Fund, an honor he would receive three more times in his Red Sox career.

2016 saw Holt miss a significant amount of time due to concussion issues. a trend that would carry over into 2017 in what was probably Holt’s most adverse season in the majors because of vertigo.

That Vertigo hampered Holt’s productivity in what was already an odd season for the Red Sox despite them winning 93 games and clinching their second straight American League East title.

In some eyes, perhaps the hiring of Alex Cora, combined with Holt playing in just 64 games the previous year, put the Texas native’s roster spot in jeaporady heading into the 2018 campaign.

With Blake Swihart seemingly a lock to make the Opening Day roster as both the club’s third catcher and a utility player, it looked as though one of the final spots on the Sox’ bench was going to come down to Holt or Deven Marrero.

Holt seemed prepared to be dealt if that is what it came down to, but Boston ultimately traded Marrero to the Diamondbacks for a player to be named later who would turn out to be Josh Taylor.

With those trade rumors behind him, Holt got back to his consistent ways for the Sox in 2018, slashing .277/.362/.411 with seven home runs and 46 RBI over 109 games played.

That October, Holt played a crucial role for the Sox in their run to a historic World Series title. He even hit for the first postseason cycle ever in a dominating 16-1 win over the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALDS.

Trade rumors were still swirling a little bit in Holt’s final offseason before reaching free agency, but he stuck around once more and proved to be one of the better hitters on the 2019 Red Sox.

Yes, the one-time All-Star slashed .297/.369/.402 with three home runs and 31 RBI over 87 games last season, all while maintaining his role as an important veteran presence and player to look up to.

Perhaps he played his way out of the Red Sox’ price range, but the hope had been all offseason that Holt would find his way back to Fenway South this month.

That did not happen though, which is somewhat understandable given the influx of infielders Boston currently has on their 40-man roster.

Still, you cannot deny the impact Holt had on the community in Boston. He cared deeply about his role as Jimmy Fund captain, he spent his offseasons in nearby Needham, and he may have been holding out, waiting for one last offer from the Red Sox before ultimately signing with the Brewers.

You can argue that Holt’s value on the baseball field can be replaced by the group made up of Jonathan Arauz, Michael Chavis, and Jose Peraza, but that does not mean that Holt will not be missed by staff, players, and fans alike.

So, thanks for everything, Brock. Best of luck in Milwaukee. You will be missed in Boston.

 

Former Red Sox Utilityman Brock Holt Garnering Interest From Blue Jays in Free Agency, per Report

Former Red Sox utilityman Brock Holt is reportedly drawing interest from the Toronto Blue Jays in free agency, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

This news comes two days after it was reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale Jr. that the Reds were “one of the teams interested” in acquiring the 31-year-old’s services.

Holt, who has spent the previous seven seasons with Boston after coming over from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a December 2012 trade, is a free agent for the first time in his career.

A fan-favorite in Boston for what he has done both on and off the field, Holt has expressed interest in a reunion with the Sox, and chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom even said at the Winter Meetings last month that what the Jimmy Fund captain has done for the community “has not been lost on any of us.”

However, bringing Holt back now seems out of the question due to the influx of infielders the Red Sox currently have on their 40-man roster.

If he were to sign with the Jays, the Texas native would be a suitable replacement for fellow utility infielder Eric Sogard, whom Toronto dealt to the Rays last July.

A veteran presence in the clubhouse with the ability to play multiple positions and hit for average on the field. That is what Holt can bring to the table for a young team that includes rising talents such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio.

Of course, seeing Holt in a division rival’s uniform would take some getting used to, but it would also allow Red Sox fans to see him up to 19 times per season between Fenway Park and Rogers Centre.

In 33 career games north of the border, Holt owns a lifetime .308/.352/.419 slash line to go along with one home run and 12 RBI.

Back in November, MLB Trade Rumors predicted that Holt would sign a two-year, $8 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Arizona seems to be an unlikely destination at this point, but how much Holt signs for will be interesting to see once it finally does happen.