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Rangers signing Brock Holt, per report

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Brock Holt and the Rangers have reportedly agreed to terms on a minor league contract

New York Mets v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

MLB Rumors: Brock Holt and the Texas Rangers have agree to a one year deal, per reports. Ken Rosenthal says it is a minor league deal with a $1.75 million base if he makes the team, and $750,000 in possible incentives.

Holt, 32, is a Fort Worth native who played at Navarro College in Corsicana, and then Rice University in Houston. He was a 9th round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009 who was traded to the Boston Red Sox in December, 2012, along with Joel Hanrahan in a deal that sent a four player package that included Mark Melancon and former Ranger great Stolmy Pimentel to Pittsburgh. Holt stuck around as a versatile role player for Boston through 2019, and then spent time with the Milwaukee Brewers and the Washington Nationals in 2020.

Holt is a lefthanded hitter who has played every position in the majors, but who would seem to have been targeted by the Rangers as a third base candidate. The Rangers, as we have discussed ad nauseum this offseason, need someone to keep the third base job warm until Josh Jung is ready to step in and assume the everyday role. While Jung is seen as unlikely to start the season as the team’s first baseman, I think it would be considered a mild disappointment if he isn’t manning the hot corner by season’s end, so the Rangers have been needing to find someone that can potentially do a credible job as the starter at the position, but who could be displaced during the year if and when Jung’s performance in the minors indicates he’s ready.

Holt has generally been a decent bench bat who can play a number of positions during his career — he has a career .268/.337/.369 slash line, good for a 91 OPS+, with minimal platoon splits, and a career 7.9 bWAR. He was a semi-regular in 2014 and 2015, coming in at around 500 PAs in each season, but has been a part-time player since. Interestingly, since being traded to Boston, he has put up an OPS every year either in the 500s (2013, 2017, 2020) or in the 700s (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019). Well, it was interesting to me, anyway.

Rosenthal says that Holt had major league offers but signed with the Rangers because he had an opportunity to win the starting job at third base, and at this point I’d have to say he’s the favorite by default, given that the other options are Rougned Odor, Charlie Culberson and Andy Ibanez (assuming Jung starts the year in the minors).