Most people in the Red Sox organization were no doubt thrilled with the signing of J.D. Martinez, even Hanley Ramirez, who knows that this is about winning and not one player (see link below). However, Bryce Brentz didn’t exactly get helped out by the move, at least in terms of him becoming a regular for Boston.
Obviously, with Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts manning the outfield, the Sox weren’t exactly hurting for a starter in the outfield, and Brock Holt at least resembles a fourth outfielder. However, Brentz had a chance to be a depth option in 2018, but now that Martinez is in the fold, he had to pay a price beyond the $110 the Sox put on the table, as he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates to make room for the newest Red Sox. Matt has more of the details on that deal, but let’s take a moment to remember Brentz’s contributions with Boston.
They were obviously few and far between. Brentz, who was drafted 36th overall in 2010, only has 90 MLB plate appearances to his name, during which he has tripled slashed .287/.313/.377 with an OPS+ of 85. But he also fit right in in the outfield.
Red Sox Win! I could get used to seeing Bryce Brentz out there. That's two of three and 4-2 so far on the h... https://t.co/6D69Ow6LJp— Red Sox Stuff (@RedSox_Stuff) July 7, 2016
Anyone that’s been a part of the #WinDanceRepeat crew has to get some love in Boston. But the real highlight of his MLB career came on June 26, 2016. It was then that he took a 1-0 offering from Martin Perez deep into left field for his first and only career home run.
Bryce Brentz hits his 1st MLB HR https://t.co/m75IDrWY8B— Boston Sports Info (@bostonsportsinf) June 26, 2016
A handful of highlights across a small sample size like that was not enough to completely evaluate him, but Brentz was running out of time to prove he could be an everyday player. Despite ranking as high as No. 5 among Boston’s prospects during his time with the organization, Brentz never made the type of jump like Benintendi, who was drafted three years after him. That’s not to say Brentz didn’t have his own strengths. For a team like the Red Sox that needed power last year, he at least presented a possible solution. He hit 31 (!) home runs in Pawtucket in 2017 and has slugged .468 during is minor league career.
But the Red Sox are in win-now mode and were clearly not interested in hoping an in-house player who has yet to break out would, well, break out. Brentz is now entering his age-29 season and is no longer a touted prospect awaiting his big break. However, the Sox at least gave him a shot to make a big league roster with the Pirates. That will still be difficult, especially since Brentz has been in the Red Sox system for eight years, meaning he’ll have to get familiar with an entirely new group. So we’ll say goodbye to Brentz and remember that for every moment of elation that comes with a big free agent signing, somebody else will have to pay a price besides the team.
David Price helped get J.D. Martinez to Boston with a sales pitch that was both unique and accurate. (Joshua Schrock; NESN)
The discussion would not be complete without the guys over at BP Boston having a say. (Cam Ellis; BP Boston)
Or our own pal Grant Brisbee, who looks at how Martinez was acquired for such a cheap price. (Grant Brisbee; SB Nation)
Speaking of reactions, Hanley Ramirez could not have had a more perfect response to the Martinez signing, which will probably affect him the most at least in terms of playing time. (Jason Mastrodonato; Boston Herald)
While the Red Sox rotation is pretty solid, there will likely be a need for some other starters to make an impact. Jalen Beeks is a prospect who could fill that role and more. (Christopher Smith; MassLive)