Chief Baseball Operations Chaim Bloom has been at the helm of the Red Sox for just over 16 months now. He's coming from
a completely different mind set of small market, cost effective, limited budget, and maximize returns on players over
winning at the Tampa Bay Rays.
At the Boston Red Sox the budget is hovering for years at or over the luxury tax threshold, winning is the goal every
single season, cost is not always the obvious motivator, and returns on players are not nearly as important as playing
in the postseason every year.
The question is, did anyone tell Bloom that he's got a new employer and expectations are truly different in Boston?
Was he given the helm of the Red Sox with a limited budget, a desire to ignore the run for postseason baseball, and try
and maximize the return on departing players above all else?
The Benintendi trade
put the final of the three B's (the outfield nickname given to Bradley, Benintendi, and Betts) out to pasture as
Bradley as walked as a free agent this year.
The return has been salary reduction to the payroll, minor league talent, and just one player from the Betts trade that's
a starting major league player in outfielder Alex Verdugo.
What else has Bloom been doing to shore up the rotation, supplement
an empty outfield, fix the issue of second base, and filling up the farm system as that's what Bloom knows from his time
at the Rays.
Cordero is a power hitting outfielder that the Padres absolutely loved in the beginning of his career, until he become
a frequent member of the disabled list the last few seasons. The challenge and hope is that the Red Sox can figure out
how to keep him healthy and on the field, while JD Martinez mentors him in hitting. If the Red Sox can recapture any of
the massive power he's shown in the past it will play extremely well in Fenway.
Ideally Renfroe would hold down the last outfield spot with Gonzalez and Hernandez splitting time around the diamond at
second base and the outfield.
The question is will it fix on the the worst rotations in the majors last year?
Chris Sale is still on the road back from Tommy John surgery, but should be back by early summer. The plan seems to be
Nathan Eovaldi, Eduardo Rodriguez, Richards, and Perez in the top four spots. It's up for grabs who's going to
own the fifth spot, but it's a good bet Bloom is all in on the bullpen game.
While much of the action for Bloom and the Red Sox seems to be done with only $4.2M and change left in the budget while staying below the luxury tax, there are a few trade rumors still being floated around.
Sources: Red Sox have expressed interest in a reunion with Brandon Workman. Unknown if talks have progressed. He’s one of many relievers still available and Boston may not be done adding to the bullpen.
It appears that there is some interest in bring back free agent Workman and some noise around Travis Shaw who
last played for the Red Sox in 2016. Shaw slashed .239/.306/.411 in 180 plate appearances with the Blue Jays last season
and Workman has not been offered a deal by the Phillies after last season.
"The asking price for Vasquez, 30, is said to be very high and there are doubts whether the Red Sox will entertain
trading him. He is an above-average defender with an emerging offensive game, hitting 30 home runs in his last 185
games and slashing .283/.344/.457 last season."
One would hope that the Red Sox don't let Vázquez go at any price.
So how does this leave us feeling about the Red Sox in 2021?
The predictions coming out just before Spring Training kicks off have got to have you both depressed and shaking your head
as a Red Sox fan.
.@baseballpro has announced their 2021 standings predictions. 👀
Boston is not used to small market tactics that Bloom appears to be continuing from his tenure in Tampa Bay, which means
you can expect more of the same turnover in the roster if they can bring back good (farm) returns.
As for grading out the offseason work done so far, there are a few aspects to look at. Starting by looking at keeping the
team below the luxury tax threshold, Bloom grades exceptionally well. For getting good returns from superstars like Betts it would be a mediocre grade. If you look at the free agents above used to patch out the holes in the rotation, outfield,
and utility positions, one would have to say that he's again kept well in line with his small market philosophy. That's
not the Boston mentality nor market he's playing too and the grade can only be unsatisfactory so far.
As a Red Sox fan you can't be happy with Bloom and the current position the Red Sox are in. Winning 80-82 games is a
non-starter target for this franchise. It's hard to
buy the rhetoric from Perez after signing with the Red Sox.
“It’s going to be a fun year for us as a team and for the fans.”
Maybe his definition of fun is different but don't you want a team with a chance to head into the postseason?
Eric is a contributing writer since 2013 and a true Overseas Fan of the Boston Red Sox living in the Netherlands. He's spent years on baseball fields around the world pitching. His weekends are now spent helping the next generations of pitchers to find their passion and love for the sport. More articles by Eric: https://www.redsoxlife.com/search/label/ericschabell