Old Friends: Where are they now?

Photo Credit: Boston Sports Journal

Where are certain players that have drifted through Boston the last few seasons playing? A quick look at some selected Red Sox names and how they are doing.

Where are they now? In the last few seasons, several players have disappeared from the Red Sox. One was a veteran, one a high-priced free agent, and the others were players that were written about, argued about, and hoped would somehow make an impact in varying degrees. They are all gone.

Where are they now?

Bryce Brentz was a hot topic after slamming 31 home runs for Pawtucket (AAA) in 2017. The former first-round pick may have finally reached his potential, but, alas the right-handed hitter was shipped to Pittsburgh, claimed off waivers by the Mets, and then shipped to their Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas.

Brentz is now on the seven-day disabled list and has hit seven home runs and accounted for 21 RBI. At this point, Brentz is hitting .271 and is not on the Mets 40-man roster. Brentz may surface again this season as a team needs an outfielder with some punch.

Switch-hitting Daniel Nava was a feel-good story for Boston after being signed from independent league baseball. Nava became a key piece in the 2013 World Series team hitting, .303 in 134 games. Since leaving Boston in 2015 Nava has been a baseball nomad with several teams signing the dirt dog.

Last season Nava hit .301 for Philadelphia in 214 plate appearances – a nice way to have an entry into free agency. Unfortunately, no riches awaited and Nava signed a minor league deal with the Pirates. In spring training back surgery would take place and Nava was released. Nava then quickly resigned with the Pirates. So far Nava is inactive.

Allen Craig costs the Red Sox almost $30 MM in salary for just about zero major league production. The once gifted right-hand hitter – Craig once was an All-Star with a .315 average in his resume – signed with the Padres. Craig is now with El Paso (AAA) and hitting in the .270 range.

Will Middlebrooks should be playing third base for the Red Sox and pumping out 30+ home runs as a right-handed force in the lineup. Not so. After an outstanding rookie season (15/54/.288) Middlebrooks hitting disappeared. Since then Middlebrooks has been with the Padres, Brewers, Rangers and Phillies organizations. A broken leg in spring training has kept Middlebrooks out of action.

The case against former first-round pick Deven Marrero was “good field, no hit” and that has not changed with Marrero being in Arizona. The right-hand hitting Marrero is well under the fabled Mendoza Line.

Also on the Diamondbacks’ roster is right-handed Clay Buchholz. The enigmatic and injury prone Buchholz won 81 games for the Red Sox and twice made the All-Star team. Boston shipped Buchholz to the Phillies saving $13.5 MM in salary.

My Post

With the Phillies Buchholz’s 2017 season ended after just two games. Since then Buchholz has signed and eventually been released by the Royals and then signed by Arizona. The season is young, but early indications are Buchholz has again found his game. In four starts Buchholz has a 1.88 ERA and 0.83 WHIP.

This one hurts fiscally, emotionally, and performance wise for the Red Sox management and fans – Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval is defensively doing the job at first, second, and third. And hitting? Sandoval is outhitting Rafael Devers by a significant margin. The switch-hitting Panda is being paid $18 MM by Boston to be a regular for the Giants.

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About Rick McNair

Born in Boston and have lived in the area all my life but not as a Red Sox fan. My first game was actually at Braves Field where I saw a very young Eddie Matthews hit a home run. The Braves left and I quickly switched loyalties. I enjoy discussing the Red Sox past and the connection of that past to the present. I will often bring in remembrances of that into posts. As a retired teacher I have the time to occasional travel to foreign baseball soil and love meeting up with other fans of RSN on the road. I am also a fan of the NY Football Giants (via NJ) - a dwindling breed in Massachusetts.
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4 thoughts on “Old Friends: Where are they now?

  1. ‘Always like to hear “where they are”, I still pull for these guys, at least most of them, but hope they don’t hurt the Sox in head to head.

    1. I will do a few more as I have done this in the past. The usual concentration is on borderline players, but I will slip in some notables like CB and Panda.

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