FEB. 20: Holt’s deal is worth a guaranteed $3.25MM, Rosenthal tweets. It comes with a $5MM club option or a $750K buyout in 2021, and has incentives worth $250K each for 400, 425 and 450 plate appearances.
FEB. 17: The Brewers have agreed to a deal with infielder Brock Holt, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). If the physical checks out, Holt will be a late addition to a Milwaukee roster that has already seen multiple infield acquisitions.
Holt was one of the top remaining free agents. The 31-year-old may not leap off the page in many regards but he has been quite a useful player. At his best, Holt has turn in roughly league-average offensive work while contributing with the glove at multiple positions.
It’s hardly surprising that the Brewers wish to provide a Swiss Army knife to skipper Craig Counsell. It’s just that he already has a few in his knapsack. The club had already picked up defensive vagabonds Luis Urias, Eric Sogard, Jedd Gyorko, Ryon Healy, Ronny Rodriguez, and Mark Mathias this winter, in addition to adding non-roster players Jace Peterson and Andres Blanco.
Among the players added, Holt probably comes with the most functions. In particular, he’s capable of lining up anywhere in the field that doesn’t involve extra protective gear or a climb atop a hill. Holt has played at least 200 MLB innings at six positions and 75 2/3 at one other (shortstop) — and he has mostly done so with solid-to-good grades from metrics.
He has always reached base at a solid rate, producing a career .340 OBP by carrying solid walk rates and strong batting averages. Holt has trended up in the past two seasons at the plate, turning in a collective .286/.366/.407 batting line in 662 plate appearances — a bit above the league-average overall output.
Those nice efforts with the bat came on the heels of a tough 2017 season in which Holt struggled with symptoms of a concussion, vertigo, and anxiety. It’s obviously great to see him rebound since, though Holt has not returned with quite the same athleticism. Once a highly graded and rather swift baserunner, Holt now rates in the bottom third or so leaguewide in terms of sprint speed.
While Holt doesn’t carry drastic career platoon splits, he has been a bit better — especially in the power department — when facing opposite-handed pitching during his career. The left-handed hitter seems likely to supplement the right-handed-hitting Keston Hiura at second base, spend some time in the corner outfield, and perhaps line up occasionally at third base. Fellow left-handed-hitting utilityman Eric Sogard is also primarily a second baseman by trade, but has more experience on the left side of the infield than does Holt and could see most of his action there.
The Brewers are the guy in your (standard) NFL fantasy league who drafts 4 QBs.
They lost a lot of talent over the offe season, let’s hope what they picked up matches what they lost.
Yet somehow beat you out for a playoff spot
Glad for. Brock and sad for Red Sox nation.
Yup…the RS signed an inferior player…with less versatility…for about the same money as they could done with Holt.
Not to mention he is a Great clubhouse guy..and an even better person when it comes to his charitable work in the Boston community.
I don’t know if Bloom realizes how disheartening this is to RS fans.
Bro we literally hang banners for wild card berths that’s like saying we’re proud of being the best worst team to get into the playoffs
Plenty of teams go to the World Series or win one from the wild card.
lol! If QB translates to SS/3B you are spot on!
How? They added sogard (can play 3rd and 2nd), urias (SS/3B) and holt (3B, 2B and OF). Still not convinced Healy makes the team
I guess Gyrko as well but having Sogard, Gyrko, Urias, Holt who can all play multiple infield positions isn’t a bad option to have. Arcia will be a late inning defensive replacement and spot starter you’d think
The only problem there is Arcia is a below average SS.
Offensively there’s no question he is. He’s actually very solid with the glove though. Having him not get more than 350 at bats is a win in itself
Hiura to 1B? His glove is really bad at 2B.
Depends on the metrics you look at. Last 2 years he’s actually not rated out great with the glove.
Because of the Brewers’ frequent shifting, Arcia is always put in the spot where the ball is most likely to be hit on the infield.
He faced more chances than any other infielder in all of pro baseball over those 2 years and also faced the very highest percentage of difficult plays.
He not only has a cannon that creates outs with the arm on close plays, but he makes more of the very difficult plays than any player in the entire league (not named Lorenzo Cain).
DRS and UZR are highly flawed defensive metrics (and honestly, almost every defensive stat in every single major team sport has sucked until the last few years, though their new ones aren’t great still).
Outs Above Average (OAA) is like calculus to the addition and multiplication that are DRS and UZR.
Freddy Galvis grades -2 DRS and -1.3 UZR, but OAA shows him to be +12 and that’s the largest differential (Justin Turner is -7 in both others but shows as +4 OAA and has the second biggest differential).
Both ranked as below average when they are both in fact well above average (Turner at very good and Galvis at elite).
They’ve now gone through game film back to 2017. and Arcia was +1 in 2017 and +12 in 2018 (the latter in the top 3% of all shortstops).
He slumped to a -4 last year, but it was due to the aforementioned shifting that saw him face more chances than any IF in all of MLB (but I would point out that he did in July embark on a streak of nearly 55 games in a row without an error, second in club history).
The truth is that Stearns bought in on a lot of bounce back candidates on the cheap and is going to throw them against the wall until he finds out which ones stick.
He’s famous for stashing players with options at AAA for depth and then simply cutting the guys who slump by mid May.
Arcia may well be the starter initially due to the injury to Urias, but if he finally starts hitting and staying focused defensively at all times–and that’s his real issue, focus–then Urias will be at 3rd and the shifts will take care of all of Hiura and Braun’s deficiencies (though Hiura is largely nervous and not ready for the speed of MLB, so I think he will adjust and be league average or better by June 1st).
I sense another surprising team and have already bet my best pal that the pitching staff will be the best in all of MLB.
The offense is cheaper and grades higher for prospective WAR than last year, so runs will still be plentiful (because Hiura has reduced his K Rate to below 20% after the first month at every level, and that was true last year as well, when he K’d at 40% for a month and then only in the low 20% range for the rest of the season).
They will be top 5 in pitching and scoring. Defense…we’ll see, but OF defense is far more important than IF and they made the team way better by moving Braun to 1st and Yelich to LF with Avisail in right. .
Spike Hyzer I read all your posts in this thread. As a Brewer fan I found your take on the issues related to Holt’s signing to be very informative and interesting. If you are not covering the Brewers professionally, you should – you are way better than Haudricourt…
I agree with bogart about your writing.
Do you have any interest in that hourly MLBTR writing gig just posted, either as a career move or a way to earn some extra cash writing about baseball?
Thanks. That’s very kind of you to say. I’m just a sports nut and numbers geek at heart, but I did do a lot of writing in both HS and college and as parts of a few jobs.
It’s just one guy’s take, but it’s nice that you appreciate it!
Excellent points throughout, backed by sound logic.
Holt plays every position other than P/C.
2nd base is Holts best position. If used correctly you will be shocked at his versatility.
how many infielders do they need lol
All of them
Well considering most teams go into a season carrying six on their 25 (now 26) man roster I’d say Smoak, Hiura, Arcia, Sogard, Gyorko and Holt will all make the opening day roster since Urias will start the season on the DL.
Add Yelich, Cain, Braun, Garcia and Gamel to the mix and you really have solid depth throughout.
Four per game, if we’re excluding catcher.
reds missed out big time on this. their infield depth sucks
Maybe the Brewers can trade some of this depth when they figure out who their starters will be.
I’m sure the Reds will screw it up and send us the piece we need to compete for the World Series!
Party like a brockstar
Randy Red Sox
how much $$$??
I want to know too…
How much did he sign for.
I’m a 56 yr old RS fan. Really started getting into the Sox in 75′
And not signing Holt bothers me more than losing Betts.. That was business ..he wants $400m
RS need to get under the luxury tax.. I get it.
But Holt was something ownership could and should have afforded.
His replacement is an inferior player…let’s see if they actually wound up paying more for him than they could have signed BrockStar for.
Completely agree. Can’t understand why Sox didn’t resign him. Understand his limitations/injury history but just a solid utility player. Good leadership & in community is something Sox could really use now.
This ownership is really hard to like despite championships/spending. They just don’t seem to get it at times as yesterday’s press conf showed. Understand CBT & need for bridge yr but odd way to go about it. Most fans just want a competitive AND likeable team, esp considering state of baseball now.
The brewers have signed a whole new team this year. Seems like they got new guys for almost every position.
Who signed Yasiel Puig?
he’ll be teammates with Jones before long. his personality would probably be a hit over there (no pun intended)
Very good landing spot for him bet he starts at third base
My thought too. urias at ss Arcia to bench
If Holt is a starter in a key defensive, and demanding position, and one that requires offensive production and at least league minimum power….the Brewers are in trouble!
When MLB Traderumors said “roughly league average offense and defense’ they meant it and not on the positive side of roughly!
Why? He didn’t sign with the baby eaters in Chicago or St. Louis.
The Brewers good pretty good guy in Brock.
I’m going to miss seeing him in the AL East. I’ve always enjoyed watching him with Boston; kinda hoped he’d wind up as a Blue Jay. Glad that he went to a team like the Brewers, though.
Agreed jays need a backup SS bad. I don’t think Lourdes is the answer as he needs to focus on LF. Tejada I don’t believe is the answer either after that they have no one
Going to miss him in Boston
Meanwhile Rag Sox fans are crying somewhere.
How many infielders do the Brewers need?
They need some just in case some injuries arise or they can all play different positions.
Sogard and Holt seem fairly redundant
On the same roster
Easy to like the Brock-stah , but the reality is, is that he’s a league average bat who plays with less than average ability at a variety of positions. Good to have around, and by all accounts a great guy. But any more than 3-4M on a one year deal is peeing money away, especially in a limited expenditure market like Milwaukee.
Good comment…only thing I’d add is that his “league average bat” is a bit of an overstatement…..he has little to no power and is basically a singles hitter….don’t think that qualifies as league average offensively in todays game.
A .365 OBP in today’s game is valuable though out of a bench guy
Not to mention few utility guys play average to above defense at multiple positions like Holt does.. 2b, 3b, even 1b. Corner OF and SS are just gravy spots where he can help out and fill in.
That’s valuable out of most guys, bench player or not.
Anyone who has seen him play will understand why Sox fans are disappointed. So many times we hear about guys who don’t live up to their abilities. Holt was the opposite type as he continued to outperform expectations.
Not sure what game you’re watching. He hits a lot of doubles too, not just singles. Oh and by the way, wrong side of thirty or not, the guy has proven himself more than Peraza.
Randy Red Sox
how much $$$??
Brock had many big hits over the last few years and I loved watching him on the Red Sox, but he is a utility player whose production goes down the more he plays and on the wrong side of 30. Red Sox fan of 51 years.
They added him to trade at the 7/31 deadline for prospects. There are quite a few of these one year signings each year.
He is actually a sold 2nd baseman… unless you saw him on a regular basis you have no idea how good he is.
If you doubt me go on the RS site and see the reaction. Fans are Pizzed.
Not just Because he’s a good player..but because he’s an even better guy.
At 5 of the 6 positions he’s had 200 innings at, he rates well above average defensively.
To whoever kept commenting “Send the Brockstar back to Boston!” R.I.P
Did not see that coming..Thought I miss read the notification at first. Sterns, you’re a sneaky one!
All American Johnsonville Dogs
Healy 3B Holt ss Sogard 2B Gyorko 1B. Brewers signed an entire new infield.
Except that Smoak will start at 1st and Urias will not have a starting spot or true position until we see how Arcia fares while he recovers.
Sogard and Gyorko will NOT start many games and Healy is my expected starter at 3rd if/when he shows he has recovered.
Hiura will start 150+ games at 2B and be an All Star this year.
Arcia may finally put it together and will start the most games at SS.
All American Johnsonville Dogs
Healy 3B Holt ss Sogard 2B Gyorko 1B. Brewers signed an entire new infield.
1B – Smoak/Braun
2B – Hiura/Holt
SS – Urias (once healthy)/Arcia
3B – Sogard/Gyorko
That’s some solid depth.
Smoak will be at 1B not Gyorko.
red Sox ought to be ashamed of themselves
The RS fans wanted him back…its the least ownership could have done.
Not quite sure how he was an All-star that one year with that statline
First half stats combined with the fact that the Sox were horrible then and every team needed a representative.
Noooooooooooooo the Brockstar needs to come back to Boston!!!!!!
Great addition even if he was a Red Sox
Bye Brock Star 🙁
holt > hernan
Congrats, Milwaukee on a great signing! He was such an integral part of Boston’s recent success. Not always on the field, but by all accounts he is one of the absolute best teammates in MLB and is always helping others make adjustments, line up correctly in the field, etc. I see a future in coaching for him once his playing days are over.
And he has a knack for the clutch hit when it’s really needed the most. I hope he does well in Milwaukee; he one of the good guys in MLB.
One of the best people in baseball today.
The Brockstar was clutch n a tremendous person. I am going to miss him terribly.
Too many Brock is like a Sean Casey type of guy. Great teammate, decent defense, singles hitter, and nothing from the power department. Only difference is, Brock can play a lot of different positions and teams love that. Casey was a corner IF only guy. I remember when Pirates put Casey in RF one day. It was like a hippo running out there. Just awful to watch.
Good signing by the Brewers. Holt will turn out to be a Cub killer.
As a Red Sox fan I grudgingly understand why they had to trade Mookie Betts, and no one was happier than me to find out that David Price was involved in that trade, they saved a ton of money and now they can’t afford Brock Holt???
Hopefully they’ll spend that money they save on a pitcher
What pitcher? There’s nobody of impact left to spend on.
Xactly Michael, why NOT the Brockstar. If he hadn’t been such injured in his career he would already be signed . BAD BAD Bloom!!!!!!!
Brewers are the kings of adding cheap infielders. Seems crazy to have so many. Some of these guys have decent bats but they can’t all make it.
Which is why 4 of the 8 they had last year were cut by mid April.
Holt will be inline for regular playing time.
Sogard can pinch hit.
Gyorko is right handed so he will come in handy.
Urias was injured in winter ball so who knows if he will be ready for opening day.
Healy is coming off hip surgery and likely wont really be ready for opening day.
Arcia could be traded if Urias is ready to start the season.
Ronny Rodriguez and Jace Peterson could be minor league depth if willing to stay in the organization.
I think you’re right in a lot of this. If they deal Arcia, there really isn’t too much problem
They did sign him to a contract that exceeds his arb possibility for this year.
You don’t buy out a year of a guy’s arb at an inflated value if you don’t believe he still has a true chance to break out. He’s young.
He’s gone after this year if he doesn’t perform, but unless everyone else has astonishingly better numbers, he won’t be traded until at least the deadline.
Yet we didn’t bring Thames back?
But you did sign Justin Smoak so…that has to count for something, right?.
They wanted thames back. At a discount. Didnt happen.
Pretty solid signing, should fit in nicely in MKE
Average offensive production with excellent base running instincts and high baseball IQ and solid clubhouse presence and plays multiple positions. So, better than average ball player. Fairly simple to figure that out.
Bring back JJ Hardy while you’re at it Milwaukee.
Nooooooo, way to miss Bos. Anyways, best of luck to Holt. Was always a big fan.
That leaves one from the original MLBTR Top 50 – Yasiel Puig. List may be complete before spring training.
As a Sox fan, this is the biggest blow to our team. Not the fact that we traded Betts, but the fact that we didn’t resign a fan favorite in Brock Holt who we easily could afford. It’s evident Holt wanted to play in Boston. He was versatile, did everything right and even contributed to the Jimmy Fund. And all we did was sign Peraza (whose career numbers suck by the way) and let this guy walk out the door. I really hope this comes back to bite Bloom hard because it was such a stupid move to not give this guy another chance.
I get that the Betts move made sense but not resigning Holt is asinine at best.
Ah yes, the “losing the best player in baseball doesnt actually hurt, losing a scrub white utility guy hurts more!” take – ya hate to still see dumb crud like this made by people with a broken brain.
Sorry but he was very expendable. Great guy but he had his career year and his tools are slipping. He hits without power pretty well, but can’t run, throw, terrible range, plays multiple positions but poorly.
He’s league average at one position and above average at the 5 others he has played more than 200 innings at.
He plays 6 positions well (and SS poorly, but only in 75 innings).
He not above average at any position. below average arm, speed , range, and power.
BrewCrew went to long without making a move. They had the itch .
Would not have expected the Brewers to sign Holt with the numerous infielders currently on their depth chart fighting for a spot. Then again, the Brewers haven’t had a clue this offseason and have signed players they do not need rather than addressing problem areas directly. Again, the Brewers are not ready to take the next level. They are hoping for the bandaid solution and for Yelich and Woodruff to be the best at their positions with Hader being lights-out.
Signed players they do not need? Like who? The only one I can remotely justify is Garcia since we already have three starting outfielders although his addition allows Counsell the ability to manage guys like Cain and Braun who have recently been dealing with nagging injuries.
I’d love to hear who else they signed that didn’t fill an obvious need.
Like last year, 5 of the 9 IFs in camp will be sent to AAA (Stearns signs guys with options for a reason).
When some guy on the cheap fails, they cut him by mid April and bring up replacements (until they can find a true starter who has been waived or pushed out by better talent by another club).
They’ve been dealing with their lack of stars in this manner for 5 years now and it’s highly successful.
Hauser will be as good as Woodruff and the staff should be the best in baseball overall. Hiura will be an All Star (and improve on D).
The WAR of the offensive players they picked up EXCEEDS that of the guys we lost.
It’s a band aid only until they pull a few off by May and decide who starts.
Don’t doubt the best GM and Manager in all of baseball.
good signing by the brewers holt was good with the red sox
Wanted the Mets to sign him…
I imagine Gob Bluth will not be buying season tickets this year.
Well, that’s one less Yankee killer the Yankees have to worry about.
I feel like they are just hoping that one of these new additions is going to step up and preform at an all star level alongside Yelich and Hiura
I feel like the same could be said for any non-megastar free agent signing ever.
I’ll not forgive ownership of RS to let The Brockstar leave Boston. The fans adore him, n right now they could use some good feelings coming from the fans. We lost Cora, Mookie, n now the Brockstar! And they wonder why tix sales down?
I like what the Brewers are doing. Signing lots of players that are average/slightly above average with lots of versatility. As a Boston fan this comes from the Bill Belichick book and we’ll miss Brock as a fan favorite.
Bcap you are right about the BB Book. The problem is that the RS need good players that the fans love, n that are good on n OFF the field. The Brockstar was clutch n a pleasure to root for as a fan. Not every player hasta be a Star.
Also, the Brockstar won’t get the love he got in Boston, just a fact when you leave a team you had history with.
As a Sox fan I couldn’t agree with you more! As a general baseball fan, I think what the Brewers are doing overall. I
So, the Sox could have kept him instead of signing Peraza. Holt’s a better hitter and way more versatile defender. Could have had Travis Shaw instead of Moreland too for more upside and 3-position versatility. Not a good start for Bloom at all.
Bad BAD Bloom n Henry!!