FORT MYERS — The Red Sox have plenty of high-profile free agents hitting the market soon, but an under-the-radar one is just as important to the chemistry of their clubhouse.
Brock Holt's deal expires after this season, too.
The jack-of-all positions has been with the Red Sox for six years now, and left no doubt that Boston is where he wants to stay.
"I love being a part of this organization. This is where I want to end up and play for as long as I've got left," Holt told the Eagle-Tribune. "Playing a game, obviously you can't play forever, but if you're happy, if you're comfortable, and you enjoy where you're at — My family loves it. I love it. It's a good place to be.
"I'm happy I'm here with the Red Sox," Holt reiterated. "Hopefully I can stick around. That's what I'd like to do. I love it here. I love the role that I'm in. I've come to embrace it."
Alex Cora loves him in that role, too.
"I think the whole superutility phrase is overused to be honest with you," the manager said. "Because you play a lot of positions doesn't mean you're a superutility player. You're just a utility player. Trust me, I know that. I was just a utility player... Brock, he's a superutility player.
"You have two or three players in one player," Cora continued. "You can use him in different situations. As a starter, as a pinch hitter, as a defensive replacement. He can play 15 days in a row when somebody gets hurt. Yeah. It's a luxury for us."
Thus far, the Red Sox haven't reached out to Holt about any sort of extension.
"Haven't talked to anyone about that. If that comes up, great, I'd love to talk about it and see if we can work something out because obviously I'm happy here," Holt said again.
The 2015 All-Star avoided his final year of arbitration this winter, agreeing to a $3,575,000 deal for the 2019 season.
Hypothetically speaking, would Holt consider a hometown discount to stick around?
"My preference is to play here," Holt replied. "If it was up to me, if I got to make the decisions, I don't really want to play anywhere else. I've never been in that situation so I don't know what I would do, but as of right now I would choose the Red Sox over anyone pretty much. So that's where I stand right now. It's yet to be determined though."
So what is it about Boston that has Holt hooked?
"I think it's just the people. From ownership to the front office to coaching staff to A.C. to Steve Murphy, one of our clubbies," Holt chuckled and pointed to a clubhouse attendant. "No, it's true though. It's true. Everyone involved is just fun to be around. Good people. They care about you. They treat you well.
"That's a good place to be, man," Holt continued. "When people are good to each other and we're all trying to do the right thing and we're all trying to do the same thing and we're all there for each other, that's how this feels."
Holt is the Red Sox team captain for Jimmy Fund events and treats the kids at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute like rock stars.
Those relationships certainly make him want to stick around, too.
"Everyone talks about the baseball aspect, but if you're in one spot for a long time — I've been here since 2013 — we get involved in stuff off the field and I've become a big part of the Jimmy Fund, and that's become a big part of what I do and who I am," Holt said. "You think about that. You go somewhere else to play and you're not a part of that anymore.
"We get involved in other things other than baseball and families make friends and my wife's got friends that she's got here in Boston," Holt continued. "Obviously our kids kind of grow up together. So you move around and you've got to think about that too. There's a lot of off the field things that go into that as well, a decision like that. And that's big for me. Making sure my family is happy."
Chris Mason is a Red Sox beat writer for the Eagle-Tribune and CNHI Sports Boston. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter at @ByChrisMason