Red Sox

What are Red Sox's offseason plans? We'll start to find out at MLB's Winter Meetings

What are Red Sox's offseason plans? We'll start to find out at MLB's Winter Meetings

SAN DIEGO — Baseball's Winter Meetings are underway at the Manchester Grand Hyatt overlooking scenic San Diego Bay, and don't be surprised if the Red Sox kick into gear this week.

Most of the front office and media flew out Sunday afternoon on JetBlue, where malfunctioning TVs kept the 150-odd passengers from watching the Patriots and Chiefs. That just meant CEO Sam Kennedy, GM Brian O'Halloran, and a host of others could work without distraction.

There is decidedly little buzz around the Red Sox at the moment, with most attention focused on the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes. The Yankees and Dodgers have emerged as frontrunners for the former Astros co-ace, with New York reportedly planning to offer him a record $245 million contract that would trump David Price's for the largest ever given to a pitcher.

Some early market developments are working against the suddenly cost-conscious Red Sox, particularly the four-year, $64 million contract infielder Mike Moustakas signed with the Reds that is more than triple what he had been projected to receive by MLB Trade Rumors. While the Reds signed Moustakas to play second, it still makes you wonder why there was no market for J.D. Martinez, who almost certainly would've opted out of his contract had he felt motivated suitors existed.

As a means of comparison, the Moustakas contract is expected to drive up the price on free agent outfielder Nick Castellanos, a solid hitter entering his prime at age 27 who's coming off a 58-double season between the Tigers and Cubs. Castellanos is a nice offensive player, but he's nowhere near as impactful as Martinez, and while he's technically a corner outfielder, he's not a particularly good one.

It just reinforces the notion that between David Ortiz and Martinez, the Red Sox have consistently owned the biggest edge in the league at DH, where many clubs still refuse to spend real money.

The other Red Sox question, which we'll put to chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom later on Monday, is if the Red Sox can expect to act aggressively or reactively this week. Will they need to let some higher-end pieces fall into place before picking through what's left? Or can they start knocking over some dominoes a little farther down the line?

An offseason thus far marked by uncertainty should start to form some clarity this week, even if it's around the margins. The big stuff — pondering trades for Mookie Betts and/or David Price — won't happen in the next few days unless there's a marked change in baseball's approach to the offseason, which has unfolded at a glacial pace in recent years.

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Brock Holt: 'I never expected to wear any other uniform but a Red Sox uniform'

Brock Holt: 'I never expected to wear any other uniform but a Red Sox uniform'

Brock Holt left the Boston Red Sox this offseason. But he certainly didn't want to.

The super-utility player became a free agent and the Red Sox simply opted not to re-sign him as they looked to cut costs ahead of the 2020 MLB season. So, Holt lingered for a while on the free-agent market before ultimately agreeing to a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday.

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And in a recent interview, Holt spoke about wanting to remain in Boston and never expecting to go anywhere else during his career.

"I was with Boston for so long and I honestly never expected to wear any other uniform but a Red Sox uniform," Holt said in a video captured by Scott Grodsky. "I loved it there. I loved playing at Fenway, I loved the fans, I loved the city. I was a huge part of the community so it was tough for me to come to the fact that I wasn't going back.

"But like I said, everything happens for a reason. I'm excited to be here."

This will tug at the heartstrings of the Boston faithful, as Holt was a fan favorite and a great force in the Red Sox locker room and community. He will certainly be missed by the team, and it is fair to wonder why they decided not to at least try to match the one-year deal given to Holt.

After all, they opened up some room under the luxury tax by trading Mookie Betts and David Price. So why not use some of that to re-sign Holt?

Alas, they didn't and for the time being, Holt will suit up for the Brewers. But as Holt communicated to reporters, he is very much looking forward to playing at Fenway in June when the Brewers visit the Red Sox.

And he's sure to get a warm welcome when he does return.

Who J.D. Martinez will celebrate home runs with now that Brock Holt is gone from the Red Sox

Who J.D. Martinez will celebrate home runs with now that Brock Holt is gone from the Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox suffered a big loss when it was announced that Brock Holt would be signing with the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.

Holt was a great super-utility player who could play almost every position on the diamond in a pinch. In addition, he was a fantastic locker room presence and did a lot off the field to help organizations such as the Jimmy Fund.

There's no doubt that the Red Sox will miss Holt on and off the field. But J.D. Martinez may miss Holt most of all.

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Martinez had a post-homer celebration that he always did with Holt. Holt would swarm Martinez after every home run the slugger blasted, and Holt would wrap him up in a bear hug and jump around the dugout.

But with Holt now gone, who will Martinez celebrate with?

"That’s a good one," Martinez said when asked about the topic by MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo. "Whoever’s there. I don’t know."

It's certainly going to depress Red Sox fans not to see Martinez celebrate homers with Holt anymore. But as Martinez noted, that's just part of the business of baseball.

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

Holt posted a farewell to Red Sox fans on Wednesday that reflected on the relationships he built in seven years in Boston that went beyond baseball for the native Texan.

That business side of baseball is something that Red Sox fans are becoming increasingly frustrated with and Holt's departure and absence from Martinez's home run celebration will only add to their growing discontent.