Brock Holt’s nickname is ‘Brock Star.’
I’m not making this up. It’s right there on his Baseball Reference page.
Now 31, the Brock Star is a free agent fresh off another solid season serving as the Swiss Army knife of the Boston Red Sox, and his versatility is apparently in pretty high demand this winter. In fact, you can count the Cincinnati Reds among a number of teams who have interest in the shortstop/2B/bus driver/falafel fryer/LF/mailman/3B, as Bobby Nightengale of The Enquirer relayed on Friday.
It’s easy to see why the Reds would be interested. While that kind of proven versatility is not necessarily difficult to find, finding a player who can do so with competent defense and who has hit .286/.366/.407 in 662 PA over the last two years is not. Holt, though, has done just that, and considering he’s not likely to demand the kind of bank-breaking salary to get signed, it would certainly behoove any team to have at least a marginal level of interest. Factor in the National League’s lack of a DH and manager David Bell’s proclivity to mix, match, and rotate players all game long, and a player of his ilk certainly would be a nice piece to have around.
Of course, that all sounds well and good to all parties not named Josh VanMeter, since he, in theory, is exactly the kind of player we all hope can potentially be the next Holt, or more. A lefty swinger with defensive versatility all over the place, VanMeter mashed his way onto the Reds roster last year with some truly staggering AAA production, and is likely first in line to get the chance at all the things I just said about Holt for the 2020 Reds. So, adding Holt to this mix would certainly muddy the waters a bit, though you could well go all conspiracy theory and wonder if a Holt signing would precede some form of blockbuster trade...
Speaking of which, said blockbuster trade won’t be involving Francisco Lindor. At least, that’s true if Cleveland manager Terry Francona is to be believed, as he told MLB Network Radio that “Lindor’s not on the trading block.” Way to crush dreams, Tito, you dream crusher you.
Feel free to rekindle some of those crushed 2020 Reds dreams by knowing that the club is still adding to its depth, however, as C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reported today that the club has signed lefty reliever Jesse Biddle to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Biddle, a former 1st round pick of the Phillies, has shined at times in his career, but a brutal 2019 season and some shoulder issues have seen his stock plummet to this particular depth. Considering the lefty depth in the Cincinnati bullpen at the moment features Amir Garrett and nothing more proven, adding some depth in Biddle to compete with what will hopefully be a Cody Reed breakout never hurts, especially on the same kind of low-risk move as the signings of Tyler Thornburg and Nate Jones.
Over at MLB.com, it appears that Mike Moustakas is enjoying his time on caravan for the team that guaranteed him $64 million this winter. I probably would be, too.
Finally, Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs went deep-dive on what’s next for the Houston Astros in the wake of their slightly newsworthy week. While this week was certainly a blunderbuss to the integrity of the modern game, I still get the feeling there will continue to be ample fallout from this scandal for the coming weeks, if not months, too.