The Boston Red Sox have had a rough offseason. And on Thursday night, it got a bit rougher.
The latest news concerning the Red Sox is in relation to the contract that Brock Holt signed with the Milwaukee Brewers. Holt, a team leader who had spent almost all of his major league career with the Red Sox, left the team in free agency, but it wasn't because he wanted to leave. He wanted to be a life-long Red Sox.
Instead, the team opted to let the 31-year-old super-utility player walk as they attempt to retool and cut costs.
But just how much is the team saving by not signing Holt? According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Holt's one-year pact with the Brewers is worth $3.25 million and has a club option for $5 million the following season.
Brock Holt contract with #Brewers, per source: One year, $3.25M. Guarantee includes $750K buyout if team does not exercise $5M club option for 2021. Also: $250K each for 400, 425 and 450 plate appearances.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 21, 2020
That isn't big-time money and there's no doubt that the Red Sox could've matched that while staying under the Competitive Balance Tax threshold. But instead, they opted not to bring back the fan-favorite even in the wake of the brand-damaging Betts deal.
That certainly won't please the fan base. And as a result, the Red Sox will likely roll with Jonathan Arauz and Jose Peraza, two relatively unproven players, as their utility infielders.
Arauz was a pick in the Rule 5 draft, so he has to remain on the team's 25-man major league roster for the entire year in order for the Red Sox to retain his rights. He's only 21 but hit .249 with 11 homers during stints in single and double-A last season.
As for Peraza, he was signed for $3 million during the offseason. The 25-year-old has upside as a former top Cincinnati Reds prospect who hit .288 with 14 homers in 2018. However, he regressed last season, hitting .239 with six homers, and has a career fielding percentage of .973. Comparatively, Holt's .981 fielding percentage, while largely playing the same positions as Peraza, is an upgrade.
Perhaps these potential-based moves will end up working for the Red Sox, especially if Peraza can find his power in the hitter-friendly confines of Fenway Park. But given that Holt would've only cost a bit more to retain, it's hard to understand why the team wouldn't bring him back.
At the very least, fans of the team would've been happy to see him return. And amid a tough two-month stretch for Sox, that's some goodwill they certainly could've used.