His Royal Chaimness or Will the Bloom Come Off the Rose?

Sep 13, 2006
711
Ladies & Gentlemen: it's Chaim Time. The Red Sox roster - after a painful, last-place finish - is laden with more question marks and holes to fill than in many years. It doesn't seem hyperbolic to proclaim this offseason as pivotal. Chaim will have many options to explore. How will he proceed? How will his moves (or lack thereof) be received by the denizens of Red Sox Nation?

If it please the Gods (and the mods), this thread can function as the repository for posts which analyze/praise/vilify Chaim's offseason moves like only SoSHers can.
 
Sep 13, 2006
711
Or maybe this one can. Of course, we also start threads on pretty much all off-season moves the front office makes.
I was envisioning this as the Chaim-specific thread. As the place for the "this move exemplifies the genius of Chaim's grand master plan" and "this move proves that Chaim has no plan" and other more nuanced Chaim-related analysis.

If nothing else, can I change my SoSH handle to "His Royal Chaimness?" It's got a ring to it!
 

streeter88

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 2, 2006
1,474
Melbourne, Australia
Still resentful of the stutter step that was his trade deadline this year. The entire organization seemed to mail this one in. I vote for a new GM, with a new plan, new coaching staff (particularly hitting coaches), and a renewed commitment to excellence, or at least not sucking.
 

Ganthem

a ray of sunshine
SoSH Member
Apr 7, 2022
826
I see what Bloom is attempting to do. I also recognize that he had limited resources to work with the past couple off seasons and this will be the first off season where he has a bunch of money and a some prospects to work with. The fact that he was able to bring long term pieces such as Pivetta and Whitlock aboard and was able to identify other pieces such as Kike and Wacha bode well for Chaim. There of course were the Jose Peraza's and Diekmans, but I think that is the price you pay when you try to find hidden talent. Even if Bloom builds the Sox to be the Dodgers of the east, I hope he is still taking shots on players. He will win some and lose some. That being said I think if his plans don't bear fruit next year his seat will be getting warm and if they still don't bear fruit in 2024 he will be gone.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 12, 2019
75
Still resentful of the stutter step that was his trade deadline this year. The entire organization seemed to mail this one in. I vote for a new GM, with a new plan, new coaching staff (particularly hitting coaches), and a renewed commitment to excellence, or at least not sucking.
Who did you have in mind as an improvement? What "new plan" do you suggest? Two games from a pennant in '21 was "excellence" and "not sucking", yes?
If you're going to bash, at least offer a sensible, workable solution.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
4,624
I see what Bloom is attempting to do. I also recognize that he had limited resources to work with the past couple off seasons and this will be the first off season where he has a bunch of money and a some prospects to work with. The fact that he was able to bring long term pieces such as Pivetta and Whitlock aboard and was able to identify other pieces such as Kike and Wacha bode well for Chaim. There of course were the Jose Peraza's and Diekmans, but I think that is the price you pay when you try to find hidden talent. Even if Bloom builds the Sox to be the Dodgers of the east, I hope he is still taking shots on players. He will win some and lose some. That being said I think if his plans don't bear fruit next year his seat will be getting warm and if they still don't bear fruit in 2024 he will be gone.
This is where I’m at also. I think he’ll only be given the chance to fully make the team as how he envisions it long term starting in ‘23.

I think he’s done so-so on keeping the remainder of Dombrowski’s Sox competitive while laying the foundation for the future.
If it’s a disaster next year I suspect he’ll have ‘24 as his Shit or Get Off the Pot Show.
 

Daniel_Son

Member
SoSH Member
May 25, 2021
993
San Diego
This is where I’m at also. I think he’ll only be given the chance to fully make the team as how he envisions it long term starting in ‘23.

I think he’s done so-so on keeping the remainder of Dombrowski’s Sox competitive while laying the foundation for the future.
If it’s a disaster next year I suspect he’ll have ‘24 as his Shit or Get Off the Pot Show.
We've got a good crop of prospects projected to debut in '23 too. Out of the top 30, there's Rafaela, Yorke, Mata, Walter, Murphy, Ward, Valdez, Koss, Abreu, and German. Striking gold on a couple of those guys buys Bloom some more time, I think, especially with Golden Boy Mayer a year closer to the majors.
 

j-man

Member
Dec 19, 2012
2,855
Arkansas
and BTW there needs to be a deadline for FA to sign in the offseason say jan 7th that if u do not sign by jan 7rh then all u can get is 1-year deals then if the owners try to wait utill jan 8th to sign guys they lose their top 3 picks in the mlb draft
 

streeter88

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 2, 2006
1,474
Melbourne, Australia
Who did you have in mind as an improvement? What "new plan" do you suggest? Two games from a pennant in '21 was "excellence" and "not sucking", yes?
If you're going to bash, at least offer a sensible, workable solution.
First of all, the OP asked for us to talk about Chaim Bloom - my apologies, I missed the point about analysing / praising / vilifing off season moves and dove straight in to vilify what he has done this year. Your post asked me to effectively put up or shut up - which I will struggle with as I am not the most GM-like thinker in the SOSH universe. But that is OK and I will gamely attempt it, noting that I might get flamed extensively.

To respond to your contention that 2021 was excellence and not sucking. Yes it was excellent, but also highly lucky. I think this point has been made repeatedly, and better than I will, but...the team finished at 92-70 and earned the 2nd wild card. The team then caught fire and ran through the MFY in a one game WC playoff, then the Rays in a best of 5 series, then went to the ALCS vs Houston. It was there that the team's weaknesses and frankly some of the coaching weaknesses which I am most passionate about caught up to them. Cora ran out of answers with the bullpen, and the hitters ran out of answers vs. a very good Houston pitching staff. In a word their luck ran out, and the results were better than the team was. Do Cora / Chaim get credit for outperforming? Sure, but if they get credit for 2021, they get the blame for 2022 .

2022 defined sucking from multiple angles (underperforming, injury bad luck, lack of support given to the lineup before and during the season, and waffling approach vs the pitching staff with the Whitlock / Houck SP-RP dilemma, the bullpen usage etc.), but maybe not as bad as bad as it ended up. Or perhaps could have been better with better coaching and GM support.

The hitting was flat out terrible at the beginning of the season, and in fact I pointed out in a post in early May that the hitting coach had changed (Hyers took a position elsewhere and was replaced with Fatse), and that although it was early, the new coach did not appear to be having the same excellent results that Tim Hyers had in 2021. Also, Cora and Chaim did little to keep the informal coaching mechanisms in place that had flourished in 2021. Hunter Renfroe was not re-signed, and JD seemed to not have the same effect he had had previously (unclear why and I will keep my speculation to myself). Instead, Chaim signed Jackie Bradley Jr who was objectively terrible, and Story who was good until he got hurt. It has been noted in various articles that JD and Hunter Renfroe both had success in helping others (notably Kike) to excel in 2021 - and that chemistry with other Sox hitters seemed not to exist in 2022.

Plus, the OPS of several of the top hitters in the first half cratered in the second half (Devers 981 -> 713 and JD 849 -> 701 - which is only that high b/c he finally turned it around in the last 2 weeks; I am sure there are others) which makes me wonder about the coaching. Verdugo went up, Bogaerts held steady, but if you add in Kike and Story injuries, trading Vaz away and not getting anyone else to support (OK Pham and McGuire, but really nothing was done at the deadline which has again been extensively discussed elsewhere), the lineup really struggled this year.

Bullpen construction and usage was another area where Cora and Chaim seemed not to do as well in 2022. If we recall early in the season the bullpen seemed to really struggle and waste a number of excellent starts, and starters innings were limited, and the Whitlock / Houck SP RP issue - all of which have been extensively litigated in other threads - I think it is fair to say that the 2022 results were not as strong initially hoped - again I think partially due to Cora as well as Chaim.

Starting pitching was really the only bright spot - even despite major injuries. Pivetta, Wacha, Hill even development of Bello from AAA was a success. But Sale really is made of glass, we should never have counted on him for anything, and the Paxton signing was - honestly I don't know how that ended up so poorly; basically threw money away on that - again that could have been used better. Somebody made the point in another thread that the money spent on Bradley Jr and Paxton could have been used to re-sign Renfroe. I would have been in favour of that for sure.

OK so what's the recommended approach you ask?
  1. Coaching:
    • New Hitting Coach at minimum
    • Maybe a new bullpen coach - but my issue is more that the moves that worked for Cora last year didn't work this year
    • Consider whether a new manager might help - the team looked cooked / done / checked out from about end July (again somebody posted the decline in winning percentage with precisely a 2 game blip at the deadline which they argued made us half-buyers / half-sellers and not full sellers)
    • Renewed emphasis on working the count, fundamentals of defense and hitting
    • Do we need better injury and rehab management? Are the Sox worse at this than other teams? Something to look at.
  2. Lineup - others are better at this than me, but my two cents are:
    • Re-sign Bogaerts, and attempt to sign Devers - long term contracts. Restore faith in Boston as a place where star players are welcome. Again, the Mookie history casts an outsized shadow here which has been extensively discusssed elsewhere.
    • New blood in the outfield and at 1B is needed (2 mid-level signings to complement current Verdugo, Refsnyder, Pham, and whatever emerges from Casas / Dalbec in 2023).
    • Catching OK
    • 2B SS 3B again OK provided Story comes back and Bogaerts is re-signed
    • DH revolves to rest players
    • JD is cooked - let him go.
    • EDIT: I completely forgot Schwarber - he would have been useful this year...
  3. Starting Pitching - others are better at this than me, but my two cents are:
    • Eovaldi - QO
    • Bello, Whitlock
    • Sign or trade for 1 good SP
    • Pivetta / Wacha / Hill - keep if reasonably re-signed; otherwise replace - others will know better than me with whom
    • Paxton - Red Sox will know better than me whether he will actually pitch in 2023. If up to me, I say no.
    • Sale - not to be counted on for anything. It will be a bonus if he pitches again
  4. Relief Pitching - now I am really going to struggle:
    • I think we need a closer and a strong 8th inning option - we had neither in 2022 (maybe Schreiber, and I guess Houck was OK)
    • I am not filled with confidence that Chaim knows how to find them, nor that Cora knows how to use them best

OK, the Streeter88 GM experiment is done; hopefully not to be repeated. (I'll show myself out now - please everyone hold the tomatoes)

Your turn, TPGC. Tell us all the ways Chaim suceeded this year, and how he will find a way to do even better next year.
 
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scottyno

late Bloomer
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
10,377
  1. Relief Pitching - now I am really going to struggle:
    • I think we need a closer and a strong 8th inning option - we had neither in 2022 (maybe Schreiber, and I guess Houck was OK)
    • I am not filled with confidence that Chaim knows how to find them, nor that Cora knows how to use them best
If the level of pitching you're looking for is that Schreiber was only maybe a strong set up man and that Houck was ok then I have absolutely no idea what you're hoping for in 2023. Schreiber was one of the best middle relievers in baseball, and Houck was just as good if not better once they moved him into the closer role. If those 2 plus Whitlock can repeat their 2022 performances in the pen over a full or near full season then the pen is already going to be really good.

Chaim also found 2 of those guys for nothing.
 

streeter88

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 2, 2006
1,474
Melbourne, Australia
If the level of pitching you're looking for is that Schreiber was only maybe a strong set up man and that Houck was ok then I have absolutely no idea what you're hoping for in 2023. Schreiber was one of the best middle relievers in baseball, and Houck was just as good if not better once they moved him into the closer role. If those 2 plus Whitlock can repeat their 2022 performances in the pen over a full or near full season then the pen is already going to be really good.

Chaim also found 2 of those guys for nothing.
Thanks for listening, and for the constructive criticism... (and I did not claim to be very good as a GM...)

But I think my issue is better described as feeling that the results past those two have been inconsistent and especially early in the year the bullpen struggled to find its feet, leading to many blown saves and losses. So maybe my quarrel is more how long it took than who they found.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 12, 2019
75
First of all, the OP asked for us to talk about Chaim Bloom - my apologies, I missed the point about analysing / praising / vilifing off season moves and dove straight in to vilify what he has done this year. Your post asked me to effectively put up or shut up - which I will struggle with as I am not the most GM-like thinker in the SOSH universe. But that is OK and I will gamely attempt it, noting that I might get flamed extensively.

To respond to your contention that 2021 was excellence and not sucking. Yes it was excellent, but also highly lucky. I think this point has been made repeatedly, and better than I will, but...the team finished at 92-70 and earned the 2nd wild card. The team then caught fire and ran through the MFY in a one game WC playoff, then the Rays in a best of 5 series, then went to the ALCS vs Houston. It was there that the team's weaknesses and frankly some of the coaching weaknesses which I am most passionate about caught up to them. Cora ran out of answers with the bullpen, and the hitters ran out of answers vs. a very good Houston pitching staff. In a word their luck ran out, and the results were better than the team was. Do Cora / Chaim get credit for outperforming? Sure, but if they get credit for 2021, they get the blame for 2022 .

2022 defined sucking from multiple angles (underperforming, injury bad luck, lack of support given to the lineup before and during the season, and waffling approach vs the pitching staff with the Whitlock / Houck SP-RP dilemma, the bullpen usage etc.), but maybe not as bad as bad as it ended up. Or perhaps could have been better with better coaching and GM support.

The hitting was flat out terrible at the beginning of the season, and in fact I pointed out in a post in early May that the hitting coach had changed (Hyers took a position elsewhere and was replaced with Fatse), and that although it was early, the new coach did not appear to be having the same excellent results that Tim Hyers had in 2021. Also, Cora and Chaim did little to keep the informal coaching mechanisms in place that had flourished in 2021. Hunter Renfroe was not re-signed, and JD seemed to not have the same effect he had had previously (unclear why and I will keep my speculation to myself). Instead, Chaim signed Jackie Bradley Jr who was objectively terrible, and Story who was good until he got hurt. It has been noted in various articles that JD and Hunter Renfroe both had success in helping others (notably Kike) to excel in 2021 - and that chemistry with other Sox hitters seemed not to exist in 2022.

Plus, the OPS of several of the top hitters in the first half cratered in the second half (Devers 981 -> 713 and JD 849 -> 701 - which is only that high b/c he finally turned it around in the last 2 weeks; I am sure there are others) which makes me wonder about the coaching. Verdugo went up, Bogaerts held steady, but if you add in Kike and Story injuries, trading Vaz away and not getting anyone else to support (OK Pham and McGuire, but really nothing was done at the deadline which has again been extensively discussed elsewhere), the lineup really struggled this year.

Bullpen construction and usage was another area where Cora and Chaim seemed not to do as well in 2022. If we recall early in the season the bullpen seemed to really struggle and waste a number of excellent starts, and starters innings were limited, and the Whitlock / Houck SP RP issue - all of which have been extensively litigated in other threads - I think it is fair to say that the 2022 results were not as strong initially hoped - again I think partially due to Cora as well as Chaim.

Starting pitching was really the only bright spot - even despite major injuries. Pivetta, Wacha, Hill even development of Bello from AAA was a success. But Sale really is made of glass, we should never have counted on him for anything, and the Paxton signing was - honestly I don't know how that ended up so poorly; basically threw money away on that - again that could have been used better. Somebody made the point in another thread that the money spent on Bradley Jr and Paxton could have been used to re-sign Renfroe. I would have been in favour of that for sure.

OK so what's the recommended approach you ask?
  1. Coaching:
    • New Hitting Coach at minimum
    • Maybe a new bullpen coach - but my issue is more that the moves that worked for Cora last year didn't work this year
    • Consider whether a new manager might help - the team looked cooked / done / checked out from about end July (again somebody posted the decline in winning percentage with precisely a 2 game blip at the deadline which they argued made us half-buyers / half-sellers and not full sellers)
    • Renewed emphasis on working the count, fundamentals of defense and hitting
    • Do we need better injury and rehab management? Are the Sox worse at this than other teams? Something to look at.
  2. Lineup - others are better at this than me, but my two cents are:
    • Re-sign Bogaerts, and attempt to sign Devers - long term contracts. Restore faith in Boston as a place where star players are welcome. Again, the Mookie history casts an outsized shadow here which has been extensively discusssed elsewhere.
    • New blood in the outfield and at 1B is needed (2 mid-level signings to complement current Verdugo, Refsnyder, Pham, and whatever emerges from Casas / Dalbec in 2023).
    • Catching OK
    • 2B SS 3B again OK provided Story comes back and Bogaerts is re-signed
    • DH revolves to rest players
    • JD is cooked - let him go.
    • EDIT: I completely forgot Schwarber - he would have been useful this year...
  3. Starting Pitching - others are better at this than me, but my two cents are:
    • Eovaldi - QO
    • Bello, Whitlock
    • Sign or trade for 1 good SP
    • Pivetta / Wacha / Hill - keep if reasonably re-signed; otherwise replace - others will know better than me with whom
    • Paxton - Red Sox will know better than me whether he will actually pitch in 2023. If up to me, I say no.
    • Sale - not to be counted on for anything. It will be a bonus if he pitches again
  4. Relief Pitching - now I am really going to struggle:
    • I think we need a closer and a strong 8th inning option - we had neither in 2022 (maybe Schreiber, and I guess Houck was OK)
    • I am not filled with confidence that Chaim knows how to find them, nor that Cora knows how to use them best

OK, the Streeter88 GM experiment is done; hopefully not to be repeated. (I'll show myself out now - please everyone hold the tomatoes)

Your turn, TPGC. Tell us all the ways Chaim suceeded this year, and how he will find a way to do even better next year.
I appreciate the response. No tomatoes here, your logic is mostly sound. 2022 was a perfect shitstorm of underperformance, injury, questionable managing at injury, and some miscalculation. I'm not sure how much of that can be pinned on Bloom, however, especially to the extent that he should be replaced.

A good part of your criticism is of Cora rather than/equal to Bloom, and I agree. While I think he's an overall asset, 2022 was not a good year on his resume. His bullpen usage was outright baffling at times, and the repeated appearances of Robles and Familia (and to a lesser extent Brasier) in high leverage spots was particularly unconscionable.
But I don't think the construction of the bullpen was flawed heading into the season. A crew of Whitlock and/or Houck, Barnes, Taylor, Schreiber, Robles, Strahm, Diekman, Sawamura, and Davis is solid when healthy, with the possibility of Hill being added later in the season if the rotation broke right. Instead, Taylor never pitched, and Whitlock, Houck, Barnes, and Strahm all missed time due to injury. Robles cratered out of nowhere after three straight years of providing dependable innings. Diekman was, well, Diekman, which is fine if he's your fifth or sixth option rather than third or fourth. I don't think there's much of the above you can pin on Bloom.
We have the benefit of hindsight, but AT THE TIME the Renfroe trade made sense, or at least you could see the logic. The biggest flaw of the '21 team was defense, and Renfroe was Exhibit A. The thought was that a) Renfroe had a career year and you could sell high b) JBJ would help to correct that defense c) the two prospects would provide value down the road. The injuries to Hernandez and Arroyo and underperformance of Dalbec (forcing Cordero to play first at times) opened the door to JBJ as an everyday player. That wouldn't be a problem if.......
The middle of the lineup as a whole underperformed. Devers and JD cratered as the season went on, in JD's case so much that he has the second lowest WAR of any player in the AL from June 1 to Labor Day. Story was injured for half the season. Devers turned into a singles hitter. If those four guys are clicking on all cylinders, then the lineup can carry a defense-first JBJ much like 2018. Again, I don't know how much of that massive underperformance can be pinned on Bloom.

I have faith in Bloom and the approach he's taking. A lot of the dead wood that cluttered the payroll is gone now, and for the first time he'll have money to spend. But if 2023 turns out to be another massive flop, the clock will be ticking.
 

cantor44

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 23, 2020
1,401
Chicago, IL
I think Bloom, to this point, has proved himself a hedger and a fear-based bargain hunter. He's had a few successes, chiefly deepening the farm (though there aren't many elite prospects still). Though he's whiffed on the major league team, failing to take advantage of the end of the window of a still a good core (a team that had the best record in the AL at the trade deadline in 2021). He's had a few good value signs/trades: Whitlock, Kiké last year, Pivetta solid.

But he has had significant misses:

- While trading Mookie became inevitable (perhaps) when Bloom arrived, he got a terrible return for him (one slightly above league average outfielder, a fringe ML catcher, and a dude who will never have an ML career).
- He hedged at the deadline in 2021, only pulling trigger on Schwarber because he could get him for cheap, but at the sacrifice of not having him for 3 weeks. The team had the potential to win it all, and he wasn't aggressive in trying to put it over the top. They went from best record in the AL, to barely making it into the playoffs over the next two months.
- The 2022 off season was baffling, trading or letting a lot of offense walk without replacing it. Leaving clear holes in the outfield and building a bullpen of scrap heap dudes. Story again was essentially a bargain signing, the cheapest of the available All Star free agents. I like Story, but his offense had already begun to decline in 2021.
- And then the schizophrenic trade deadline of 2022, in which Bloom himself admitted things didn't go as he anticipated between the penultimate and the final day (maybe indicating he really got hosed by other GM's and is not a persuasive deal maker). He neither aggressively went for, nor aggressively dismantled the team, thereby not yielding as many prospects he could while the team was heading to the basement. He somehow tried to sell the idea that Pham and Hosmer were acquired to GFIN. If he believed that, then I questions his suitability to build a team. His handing of the 2022 deadline clearly had him on his heals, having to awkwardly defend his process to the press, repeatedly saying, more or less, "I can see how this would seem confusing." And he didn't even manage to dip under the luxury tax for the year either. Really horrendous work here.

The totality of this paints a picture of a man afraid to be bold, worried more about making a mistake than anything. A pattern of half measures, hedged decisions, and inadequate returns trail him. Again, a strengthened farm means his time hasn't been totally for nought. But his leash should be short at this point. 2023 will need to yield a clear plan and ascendent sense, or he should be fired. Wonder if the Bloom defenders and the Bloom critics can agree on this much: 2023 will be pivotal in our assessment of him?
 
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BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
43,165
I think Bloom, to this point, has proved himself a hedger and a fear-based bargain hunter. He's had a few successes, chiefly deepening the farm (though there aren't many elite prospects still). Though he's whiffed on the major league team, failing to take advantage of the end of the window of a still a good core (a team that had the best record in the AL at the trade deadline in 2021). He's had a few good value signs/trades: Whitlock, Kiké last year, Pivetta solid.

But he has had significant misses:

- While trading Mookie became inevitable (perhaps) when Bloom arrived, he got a terrible return for him (one slightly above league average outfielder, a fringe ML catcher, and a dude who will never have an ML career).
- He hedged at the deadline in 2021, only pulling trigger on Schwarber because he could get him for cheap, but at the sacrifice of not having him for 3 weeks. The team had the potential to win it all, and he wasn't aggressive in trying to put it over the top. They went from best record in the AL, to barely making it into the playoffs over the next two months.
- The 2022 off season was baffling, trading or letting a lot of offense walk without replacing it. Leaving clear holes in the outfield and building a bullpen of scrap heap dudes. Story again was essentially a bargain signing, the cheapest of the available All Star free agents. I like Story, but his offense had already begun to decline in 2021.
- And then the schizophrenic trade deadline of 2022, in which Bloom himself admitted things didn't go as he anticipated between the penultimate and the final day (maybe indicating he really got hosed by other GM's and is not a persuasive deal maker). He neither aggressively went for, nor aggressively dismantled the team, thereby not yielding as many prospects he could while the team was heading to the basement. He somehow tried to sell the idea that Pham and Hosmer were acquired to GFIN. If he believed that, then I questions his suitability to build a team. His handing of the 2022 deadline clearly had him on his heals, having to awkwardly defend his process to the press, repeatedly saying, more or less, "I can see how this would seem confusing." And he didn't even manage to dip under the luxury tax for the year either. Really horrendous work here.

The totality of this paints a picture of a man afraid to be bold, worried more about making a mistake than anything. A pattern of half measures, hedged decisions, and inadequate returns trail him. Again, a strengthened farm means his time hasn't been totally for nought. But his leash should be short at this point. 2023 will need to yield a clear plan and ascendent sense, or he should be fired. Wonder if the Bloom defenders and the Bloom critics can agree on this much: the 2023 will be pivotal in our assessment of him?
It's been a common refrain of E5's, I believe, and I would tend to agree that this offseason is pretty pivotal for Chaim with respect to the major league squad. He's already done a solid job of rebuilding the farm system. But, at the end of the day, it's all about the Boston Red Sox and not the Greenville Drive.

There are a lot of decision points this offseason. I have to imagine trying to extend Devers will be the primary focus. He then has to decide what to do with Bogaerts and JD. The outfield is currently a giant mess. Aaron Judge is sitting there but he ain't leaving the Yankees unless you pay a premium on top of the premium that his historic season will require. So, Judge seems extremely unlikely. Other intriguing guys like Trea Turner, Jacob DeGrom, Tim Anderson, Carlos Rodon, etc. are there but won't be easy to acquire. I think fans hoping for a major splash in FA may be disappointed by this offseason. Just isn't a whole lot out there once you strip away the top 4-5 guys.

I think he'll be active looking for solid guys but unspectacular guys who are available via trade. I don't see a whole lot of OF solutions on the FA market (list from MLB.com below).

Notable free agents for 2022-23
Catcher: Willson Contreras, Omar Narváez, Gary Sánchez, Christian Vázquez, Mike Zunino

First base: José Abreu, Josh Bell, Brandon Belt, Yuli Gurriel, Eric Hosmer (opt-out), Trey Mancini, Anthony Rizzo (player option), Miguel Sanó (club option)

Second base: Adam Frazier, Josh Harrison (club option), César Hernández, Rougned Odor, Jonathan Schoop (opt-out), Jean Segura (club option), Kolten Wong (club option)

Third base: Brandon Drury, Aledmys Díaz, Evan Longoria (club option), Justin Turner (club option)

Shortstop: Tim Anderson (club option), Xander Bogaerts (opt-out), Carlos Correa (opt-out), José Iglesias, Dansby Swanson, Trea Turner

Outfield: Andrew Benintendi, Michael Brantley, Corey Dickerson, Adam Duvall, Joey Gallo, Robbie Grossman, Mitch Haniger, Aaron Judge, Kevin Kiermaier (club option), Manuel Margot, Wil Myers (club option), Brandon Nimmo, Joc Pederson, David Peralta, Tommy Pham (mutual option), AJ Pollock (club option), Jorge Soler (opt-out)

Designated hitter: Nelson Cruz (mutual option), J.D. Martinez, Andrew McCutchen

Starting pitcher: Tyler Anderson, Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco (club option), Mike Clevinger, Jacob deGrom (opt-out), Nathan Eovaldi, Sonny Gray (club option), Zack Greinke, Andrew Heaney, Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber, Sean Manaea, Wade Miley, Aaron Nola (club option), Martín Pérez, José Quintana, Carlos Rodón (opt-out), Chris Sale (opt-out), Luis Severino (club option), Ross Stripling, Noah Syndergaard, Jameson Taillon, Justin Verlander (player option), Michael Wacha, Adam Wainwright, Taijuan Walker (player option)
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
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And then the schizophrenic trade deadline of 2022, in which Bloom himself admitted things didn't go as he anticipated between the penultimate and the final day (maybe indicating he really got hosed by other GM's and is not a persuasive deal maker). He neither aggressively went for, nor aggressively dismantled the team, thereby not yielding as many prospects he could while the team was heading to the basement. He somehow tried to sell the idea that Pham and Hosmer were acquired to GFIN. If he believed that, then I questions his suitability to build a team. His handing of the 2022 deadline clearly had him on his heals, having to awkwardly defend his process to the press, repeatedly saying, more or less, "I can see how this would seem confusing." And he didn't even manage to dip under the luxury tax for the year either. Really horrendous work here.
The team had about a 30% chance of making the playoffs at the trade deadline. What would you have wanted him to do? GFIN? He made moves (Pham, Hosmer, McGuire) that helped the now without hurting the future, and other than maybe making them a little sooner, that's exactly what the situation called for. Would you be happy if he traded Casas, Meyer, Bello, and Rafaella for Juan Soto and they still missed the playoffs? Sell, sell, sell? FA-to-be Wilson Contreras and Carlos Rodon were on teams in much worse situations than Boston and they were not moved. The offers were not there. It was not a seller's market. Should they have punted on a 30% chance of the playoffs and dealt Eovaldi and JDM for guys who won't crack their top 25 prospects list? He was looking at 4th and 12 from the 43. I think he did well to get Hosmer for nothing, some lottery tickets for Vazquez, and a guy who will replace (and maybe improve upon) Vazquez for less money while unloading year 2 of Diekman.
 

YTF

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I think Bloom, to this point, has proved himself a hedger and a fear-based bargain hunter. He's had a few successes, chiefly deepening the farm (though there aren't many elite prospects still). Though he's whiffed on the major league team, failing to take advantage of the end of the window of a still a good core (a team that had the best record in the AL at the trade deadline in 2021). He's had a few good value signs/trades: Whitlock, Kiké last year, Pivetta solid.

But he has had significant misses:

- While trading Mookie became inevitable (perhaps) when Bloom arrived, he got a terrible return for him (one slightly above league average outfielder, a fringe ML catcher, and a dude who will never have an ML career).
- He hedged at the deadline in 2021, only pulling trigger on Schwarber because he could get him for cheap, but at the sacrifice of not having him for 3 weeks. The team had the potential to win it all, and he wasn't aggressive in trying to put it over the top. They went from best record in the AL, to barely making it into the playoffs over the next two months.
- The 2022 off season was baffling, trading or letting a lot of offense walk without replacing it. Leaving clear holes in the outfield and building a bullpen of scrap heap dudes. Story again was essentially a bargain signing, the cheapest of the available All Star free agents. I like Story, but his offense had already begun to decline in 2021.
- And then the schizophrenic trade deadline of 2022, in which Bloom himself admitted things didn't go as he anticipated between the penultimate and the final day (maybe indicating he really got hosed by other GM's and is not a persuasive deal maker). He neither aggressively went for, nor aggressively dismantled the team, thereby not yielding as many prospects he could while the team was heading to the basement. He somehow tried to sell the idea that Pham and Hosmer were acquired to GFIN. If he believed that, then I questions his suitability to build a team. His handing of the 2022 deadline clearly had him on his heals, having to awkwardly defend his process to the press, repeatedly saying, more or less, "I can see how this would seem confusing." And he didn't even manage to dip under the luxury tax for the year either. Really horrendous work here.

The totality of this paints a picture of a man afraid to be bold, worried more about making a mistake than anything. A pattern of half measures, hedged decisions, and inadequate returns trail him. Again, a strengthened farm means his time hasn't been totally for nought. But his leash should be short at this point. 2023 will need to yield a clear plan and ascendent sense, or he should be fired. Wonder if the Bloom defenders and the Bloom critics can agree on this much: 2023 will be pivotal in our assessment of him?
I see this coming season as Bloom's make or break season. Does he get a free pass for the failures of this past season? No, the JBJ trade went as bad as it possibly could. IMO opinion a plan B option that was signed before securing plan A, the situation at 1B was far less than ideal and the pen was a couple of arms short of where they needed to be. . That said, injuries delayed the arrival of Casas, greatly affected both the infield and outfield and left the pitching staff in in rough shape.

Concerning the Betts trade...You also have to factor in that the salary relief that the Sox got from LA taking David Price in that deal which limited the return that they were going to get. Price had 3 years and roughly $96 million owed to him and the Dodgers picked up half of that. Price opted out of 2020 due to Covid concerns so neither team paid him leaving the Sox on the hook for $16 million per for Price's final two seasons of bullpen work. Shitty to pay someone to pitch for another team, but much better than paying the full boat ($32 million per) for the pitcher that he's become

Concerning the bolded, It's not like they "barely" made the playoffs and bowed out in a one game WC game. They went to game 6 of the ALCS in a year that many expected to be at the very least a partial rebuild. You might also add Renfroe the the list of players Bloom brought in for the '21 season who was a major contributor.
 

ponch73

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The team had about a 30% chance of making the playoffs at the trade deadline. What would you have wanted him to do? GFIN? He made moves (Pham, Hosmer, McGuire) that helped the now without hurting the future, and other than maybe making them a little sooner, that's exactly what the situation called for. Would you be happy if he traded Casas, Meyer, Bello, and Rafaella for Juan Soto and they still missed the playoffs? Sell, sell, sell? FA-to-be Wilson Contreras and Carlos Rodon were on teams in much worse situations than Boston and they were not moved. The offers were not there. It was not a seller's market. Should they have punted on a 30% chance of the playoffs and dealt Eovaldi and JDM for guys who won't crack their top 25 prospects list? He was looking at 4th and 12 from the 43. I think he did well to get Hosmer for nothing, some lottery tickets for Vazquez, and a guy who will replace (and maybe improve upon) Vazquez for less money while unloading year 2 of Diekman.
I thought cantor44's post was outstanding, and I'm generally in the pro-Chaim camp. I think he (cantor44) was intimating that Chaim should have had a more clear, definitive strategy at the trade deadline (and almost certainly should have been a seller, as borne out by your 30% odds). Dealing Eovaldi and JDM for prospects could have had the added advantage of getting the Sox under the luxury tax threshold. It's fair to say that Eovaldi and JDM weren't at their peak trading value, but in a world where Diekman fetches you McGuire, there had to have been some opportunities for jettisoning Nate and JD for something. Furthermore, banking on a guy (Hosmer) whose prior team deemed him totally disposable (so much so that they paid his full freight) and Tommy Pham who has been a sub .700 OPS guy since 2019 to help make a playoff push seems dubious, at best.

If Chaim was facing 4th and 12 from the 43, he decided to hand the ball to his fullback.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I think Bloom is largely opportunistic and flexible. It’s why he is often involves in so many discussions about all different types of players and moves; and how he ended up with Story last year or Schwarber to play first even though they didn’t really seem to address direct needs. It can be frustrating, but I think that’s why he can’t really say whether Houck or Whitlock will start or relieve, or who will play SS, etc. It all “depends”.
 

moondog80

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I thought cantor44's post was outstanding, and I'm generally in the pro-Chaim camp. I think he (cantor44) was intimating that Chaim should have had a more clear, definitive strategy at the trade deadline (and almost certainly should have been a seller, as borne out by your 30% odds). Dealing Eovaldi and JDM for prospects could have had the added advantage of getting the Sox under the luxury tax threshold. It's fair to say that Eovaldi and JDM weren't at their peak trading value, but in a world where Diekman fetches you McGuire, there had to have been some opportunities for jettisoning Nate and JD for something. Furthermore, banking on a guy (Hosmer) whose prior team deemed him totally disposable (so much so that they paid his full freight) and Tommy Pham who has been a sub .700 OPS guy since 2019 to help make a playoff push seems dubious, at best.

If Chaim was facing 4th and 12 from the 43, he decided to hand the ball to his fullback.
30% is not a small number (and I undercut it, it was actually 33%, per Fangraphs). You would have been OK if they gave that away (along with the chance to offer them the QO, which they might end up doing with Eovaldi) for a couple of guys with a very small chance of being big league contributors?

https://www.fangraphs.com/standings/playoff-odds?date=2022-08-02&dateDelta=

And I don't think he banked on Pham/Hosmer being anything but meaningful improvements over the status quo. Which was a pretty reasonable assumption.
 

ponch73

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30% is not a small number (and I undercut it, it was actually 33%, per Fangraphs). You would have been OK if they gave that away (along with the chance to offer them the QO, which they might end up doing with Eovaldi) for a couple of guys with a very small chance of being big league contributors?

https://www.fangraphs.com/standings/playoff-odds?date=2022-08-02&dateDelta=

And I don't think he banked on Pham/Hosmer being anything but meaningful improvements over the status quo. Which was a pretty reasonable assumption.
My assumption is that Bloom was overplaying his hand and asking for a king's ransom in return for Eovaldi and JD (based on snippets I read somewhere here). I'm also assuming that Bloom could have gotten a prospect better than a QO-equivalent for Eovaldi. For JD, not so much. A lottery ticket low ball prospect would have sufficed in return for someone taking JD's remaining salary off our hands. We better not offer him a QO since that would be incredibly wasteful.

And, yes, I would have been ok with Chaim giving up on the chance at the playoffs (which I thought to be longer odds than what Fangraphs might have assumed given how the season had unfolded and the team had performed to that point) at the trade deadline in order to accelerate the reset.
 

chawson

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Notable free agents for 2022-23

Starting pitcher: Tyler Anderson, Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco (club option), Mike Clevinger, Jacob deGrom (opt-out), Nathan Eovaldi, Sonny Gray (club option), Zack Greinke, Andrew Heaney, Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber, Sean Manaea, Wade Miley, Aaron Nola (club option), Martín Pérez, José Quintana, Carlos Rodón (opt-out), Chris Sale (opt-out), Luis Severino (club option), Ross Stripling, Noah Syndergaard, Jameson Taillon, Justin Verlander (player option), Michael Wacha, Adam Wainwright, Taijuan Walker (player option)
One name missing from this list is Zach Eflin, who has a $15 million mutual option next year with the Phillies. Maybe that gets picked up, but who knows.

Eflin is my pick for next year's Michael Wacha signing -- not least because he's 6'6". The Sox transformed Pivetta and Wacha, two already tall pitchers, by helping them increase their vertical release points and vertical approach angles. (The Twins get a lot of mileage from this too, helping guys with mediocre fastballs become harder to pick up. There's a good piece on it here.)

Eflin is already a good pitcher, but maybe he can get even better? He's got a 3.63 FIP the last three seasons, which is roughly the same as Joe Musgrove and Charlie Morton. He's 29.
 

BigSoxFan

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One name missing from this list is Zach Eflin, who has a $15 million mutual option next year with the Phillies. Maybe that gets picked up, but who knows.

Eflin is my pick for next year's Michael Wacha signing -- not least because he's 6'6". The Sox transformed Pivetta and Wacha, two already tall pitchers, by helping them increase their vertical release points and vertical approach angles. (The Twins get a lot of mileage from this too, helping guys with mediocre fastballs become harder to pick up. There's a good piece on it here.)

Eflin is already a good pitcher, but maybe he can get even better? He's got a 3.63 FIP the last three seasons, which is roughly the same as Joe Musgrove and Charlie Morton. He's 29.
Maybe a decent target if the price is right. He had a huge home/road split this year. I don't really know what to make of it but found it interesting. Looks like it has been an issue his entire career.
 

moondog80

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My assumption is that Bloom was overplaying his hand and asking for a king's ransom in return for Eovaldi and JD (based on snippets I read somewhere here). I'm also assuming that Bloom could have gotten a prospect better than a QO-equivalent for Eovaldi. For JD, not so much. A lottery ticket low ball prospect would have sufficed in return for someone taking JD's remaining salary off our hands. We better not offer him a QO since that would be incredibly wasteful.

And, yes, I would have been ok with Chaim giving up on the chance at the playoffs (which I thought to be longer odds than what Fangraphs might have assumed given how the season had unfolded and the team had performed to that point) at the trade deadline in order to accelerate the reset.
The Giants, who had an 7.8% chance of the playoffs, shopped Carols Rodon but did not trade him.
The Cubs, who had a 0% chance of the playoffs, shopped Willson Contreras but did not trade him.

Both of these payers would have fetched a higher price than Eovaldi or JDM.

Maybe the market wasn't what you assume it was.

The Red Sox were two games out of the wild card.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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The Giants, who had an 7.8% chance of the playoffs, shopped Carols Rodon but did not trade him.
The Cubs, who had a 0% chance of the playoffs, shopped Willson Contreras but did not trade him.

Both of these payers would have fetched a higher price than Eovaldi or JDM.

Maybe the market wasn't what you assume it was.

The Red Sox were two games out of the wild card.
This seems silly to say…. But they were also expecting Wacha and Eovaldi to return right then, plus (haha) Sale looked like he’d be back in late August.
It wasn’t totally insane to kinda, sorta still stay in the hunt
 

GB5

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I am of the belief(or hope!) that this off-season and what happens in the next 162 games is the make or break time for Chaim. Meaning if the team flops again, sub.500, last place that he gets his walking papers, not that it puts him on thin ice for 2024. When did we become so lenient and forgiving as a fan base. Over the past 25 years, how many Red Sox GM’s could have a resume as a first time GM, who finished last 3 out of 4 years and then got another year to probe himself. Cherington and Dombo got airlifted out of Boston with a lot better resumes.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I am of the belief(or hope!) that this off-season and what happens in the next 162 games is the make or break time for Chaim. Meaning if the team flops again, sub.500, last place that he gets his walking papers, not that it puts him on thin ice for 2024. When did we become so lenient and forgiving as a fan base. Over the past 25 years, how many Red Sox GM’s could have a resume as a first time GM, who finished last 3 out of 4 years and then got another year to probe himself. Cherington and Dombo got airlifted out of Boston with a lot better resumes.
He got us 2 games shy of the WS in 2021. When did we become so demanding as a fan base that missing the playoffs one year after coming so close meant Final Warning?
 

Ganthem

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I am of the belief(or hope!) that this off-season and what happens in the next 162 games is the make or break time for Chaim. Meaning if the team flops again, sub.500, last place that he gets his walking papers, not that it puts him on thin ice for 2024. When did we become so lenient and forgiving as a fan base. Over the past 25 years, how many Red Sox GM’s could have a resume as a first time GM, who finished last 3 out of 4 years and then got another year to probe himself. Cherington and Dombo got airlifted out of Boston with a lot better resumes.
It depends on how smart ownership is I guess. Either they realize the limitations Chaim had over the past three off seasons or they are delusional.
 

E5 Yaz

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He got us 2 games shy of the WS in 2021. When did we become so demanding as a fan base that missing the playoffs one year after coming so close meant Final Warning?
I believe the word you're looking for there is "entitled"
 

snowmanny

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Several of you (not all of you) have asserted that this is a “make or break” year for Bloom. I absolutely do not see it that way. He’s rebuilding the farm system as part of his overall plan, and that takes time. It takes time in both establishing value for the prospects and for cashing them in. It also takes time to turn over the payroll, create space and fill that space.

I think many of you are impatient or reactive. In my mind 2024 is the make or break year and if the Sox aren’t competitive by thenhe will be gone, but not before. I also think he has a 50-50 chance of pulling it off and being here in 2025.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I think they cut bait on Cherington too soon myself…. Especially after pressure to sign Hanley and Pablo and BIG SHOCK… they didn’t turn out well. But ownership wanted a WS. NOW!!!! so they brought DD in. He left the team a mess so they brought in Bloom and I suspect ownership knows they have given him a difficult chore to turn the team into the Dodgers East. They clearly trust him and I think he’s got 2-3 more years. Even if next year is another turd.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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He got us 2 games shy of the WS in 2021. When did we become so demanding as a fan base that missing the playoffs one year after coming so close meant Final Warning?
You mean like how Dombrowski got fired less than a year after actually winning the World Series?
 

ponch73

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The Giants, who had an 7.8% chance of the playoffs, shopped Carols Rodon but did not trade him.
The Cubs, who had a 0% chance of the playoffs, shopped Willson Contreras but did not trade him.

Both of these payers would have fetched a higher price than Eovaldi or JDM.

Maybe the market wasn't what you assume it was.

The Red Sox were two games out of the wild card.
Maybe, but my assumption wasn't pulled out of thin air. It was based on documented, but unverified, reports. And, to be fair, I'm not trying to assasinate Chaim's character. I actually think he deserves more time to fashion the roster, and is a magician in sourcing undervalued pitchers. But his 2022 work, particularly on the offensive side, was subpar.

Your two examples (Rodon and Contreras) are interesting nonetheless. Both put up better numbers than their Red Sox peers (Eovaldi and JDM) at substantially lower costs. I'm really curious as to what the Giants and Cubs were asking in return because those two seemed like really valuable trading chips.
 

BigSoxFan

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Several of you (not all of you) have asserted that this is a “make or break” year for Bloom. I absolutely do not see it that way. He’s rebuilding the farm system as part of his overall plan, and that takes time. It takes time in both establishing value for the prospects and for cashing them in. It also takes time to turn over the payroll, create space and fill that space.

I think many of you are impatient or reactive. In my mind 2024 is the make or break year and if the Sox aren’t competitive by thenhe will be gone, but not before. I also think he has a 50-50 chance of pulling it off and being here in 2025.
It’s a pivotal offseason for Chaim. The farm system is better but he needs to make some material improvements to the big league club. I don’t think his job is on the line just yet but this is a team with several holes. Some of them had better be competently filled this year. The OF is a huge joke right now.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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You mean like how Dombrowski got fired less than a year after actually winning the World Series?
Exactly. Organization has best season in its history, then sees its best two pitchers get hurt- yet still has winning season, but shitcans the GM before the year is out. It’s weird, I don’t recall many defending Dave the way they do Bloom. But seriously, when has this organization shown a ton of patience with its GM’s or managers? If the major league team stinks next year, I doubt Bloom gets another year, that’s just how these things work, fair or not.

I am kind of surprised there are no changes in the coaching staff for next year, frankly.
 

nighthob

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Exactly. Organization has best season in its history, then sees its best two pitchers get hurt- yet still has winning season, but shitcans the GM before the year is out. It’s weird, I don’t recall many defending Dave the way they do Bloom. But seriously, when has this organization shown a ton of patience with its GM’s or managers? If the major league team stinks next year, I doubt Bloom gets another year, that’s just how these things work, fair or not.
The difference is that the 2019 Red Sox had a depleted minor league system and were facing a rapid payroll spiral due to the Sale and Price contracts. There were no minor leaguers on the horizon to allow them to carry those disastrous pitching deals and holes beginning to form around the edges that would need to be filled with FA signings. They were in an untenable position given their status as taxpayers and the resulting increased penalties on amateur talent acquisition budgets.

A couple of things that people tend to ignore, last year MLB cancelled the Rule 5 Draft, which closed off an avenue for Boston to upgrade. My gut tells me that with an uninterrupted offseason that Boston lands a useful player in Rule 5, finds a useful scrapheap signing (or two), re-ups Xander, and either re-ups or deals Rafi. And getting a better return on Devers by not stapling Sale's corpse to him.
 
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2023 will need to yield a clear plan and ascendent sense, or he should be fired. Wonder if the Bloom defenders and the Bloom critics can agree on this much: 2023 will be pivotal in our assessment of him?
We already have a "clear plan and ascendant sense," and no, 2023 is not necessarily pivotal. This year was a disappointment primarily because of injuries. Do we fire Bloom if this possibly happens again next year?

It takes a long time to evaluate a GM's work which consists of many things but, perhaps more than any other, in building through the farm system. Hell, we can't close the book on Dombrowski until we see how the likes of Casas, Bello, Mata and Raffaela work out.

The portents for Bloom's drafts (the first was in 2020) and IFA signings are promising, but we won't have a good idea until at least 2025. Even the head scratching Renfroe trade could look different down the road. Binelas hit 25 home runs this year. At 22 he was well under age in AA. And, who knows? Maybe Hamilton's speed attracts some interest and he gets packaged this winter in a trade for an outfielder.

Bloom's a good GM and we're headed in the right direction, I think, but he needs at the very least three more years.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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It's worth pointing out that we have no idea what kind of constraints he was under from ownership in terms of payroll, acquisition cost, and public front. Ownership may have seen last year as the expected outcome that came up a little short and figured they could make a second half run, as they have done many times over the years, to get into it and maybe make some noise. The big June may have made them even more reluctant to make big moves, especially with some returning pieces on the horizon. Or maybe they didn't have any say, though it seems unlikely. Either way, we only have a fraction of the picture.
 

chrisfont9

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I think Bloom, to this point, has proved himself a hedger and a fear-based bargain hunter. He's had a few successes, chiefly deepening the farm (though there aren't many elite prospects still). Though he's whiffed on the major league team, failing to take advantage of the end of the window of a still a good core (a team that had the best record in the AL at the trade deadline in 2021). He's had a few good value signs/trades: Whitlock, Kiké last year, Pivetta solid.

But he has had significant misses:

- While trading Mookie became inevitable (perhaps) when Bloom arrived, he got a terrible return for him (one slightly above league average outfielder, a fringe ML catcher, and a dude who will never have an ML career).
- He hedged at the deadline in 2021, only pulling trigger on Schwarber because he could get him for cheap, but at the sacrifice of not having him for 3 weeks. The team had the potential to win it all, and he wasn't aggressive in trying to put it over the top. They went from best record in the AL, to barely making it into the playoffs over the next two months.
- The 2022 off season was baffling, trading or letting a lot of offense walk without replacing it. Leaving clear holes in the outfield and building a bullpen of scrap heap dudes. Story again was essentially a bargain signing, the cheapest of the available All Star free agents. I like Story, but his offense had already begun to decline in 2021.
- And then the schizophrenic trade deadline of 2022, in which Bloom himself admitted things didn't go as he anticipated between the penultimate and the final day (maybe indicating he really got hosed by other GM's and is not a persuasive deal maker). He neither aggressively went for, nor aggressively dismantled the team, thereby not yielding as many prospects he could while the team was heading to the basement. He somehow tried to sell the idea that Pham and Hosmer were acquired to GFIN. If he believed that, then I questions his suitability to build a team. His handing of the 2022 deadline clearly had him on his heals, having to awkwardly defend his process to the press, repeatedly saying, more or less, "I can see how this would seem confusing." And he didn't even manage to dip under the luxury tax for the year either. Really horrendous work here.

The totality of this paints a picture of a man afraid to be bold, worried more about making a mistake than anything. A pattern of half measures, hedged decisions, and inadequate returns trail him. Again, a strengthened farm means his time hasn't been totally for nought. But his leash should be short at this point. 2023 will need to yield a clear plan and ascendent sense, or he should be fired. Wonder if the Bloom defenders and the Bloom critics can agree on this much: 2023 will be pivotal in our assessment of him?
Didn't he and Kennedy basically just explain all of this? With no deeper support (40-man and farm) they weren't going to add big pieces, and they couldn't justify signing Betts right then. Now they feel like they can add pieces because the broader support is there. That's their explanation, it seems to track with their actions, which have all involved bringing in young talent and only adding veterans for the short term where they can be had without trading young talent. We either think it's a good plan or we don't. But it's also a long-term plan that is just moving into its second phase, so it's hard to say much without just guessing where they go this winter.

People can say Bloom should be replaced if they are upset about this year, but there's a zero percent chance of that happening anytime soon.
 

streeter88

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I think Bloom, to this point, has proved himself a hedger and a fear-based bargain hunter. He's had a few successes, chiefly deepening the farm (though there aren't many elite prospects still). Though he's whiffed on the major league team, failing to take advantage of the end of the window of a still a good core (a team that had the best record in the AL at the trade deadline in 2021). He's had a few good value signs/trades: Whitlock, Kiké last year, Pivetta solid.

But he has had significant misses:

(don't need to rehash those as @cantor44 did an excellent job of categorising them)

The totality of this paints a picture of a man afraid to be bold, worried more about making a mistake than anything. A pattern of half measures, hedged decisions, and inadequate returns trail him. Again, a strengthened farm means his time hasn't been totally for nought. But his leash should be short at this point. 2023 will need to yield a clear plan and ascendent sense, or he should be fired. Wonder if the Bloom defenders and the Bloom critics can agree on this much: 2023 will be pivotal in our assessment of him?
This is where I am at, though right at the end of a really mediocre season and given Bloom's efforts and results last winter, I am fairly pessimistic for 2023. Maybe as we get some distance, and if Bloom and Cora appear to be helping and not hurting the 2023 edition, I will feel better about things.
 

nvalvo

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I think Bloom, to this point, has proved himself a hedger and a fear-based bargain hunter. He's had a few successes, chiefly deepening the farm (though there aren't many elite prospects still). Though he's whiffed on the major league team, failing to take advantage of the end of the window of a still a good core (a team that had the best record in the AL at the trade deadline in 2021). He's had a few good value signs/trades: Whitlock, Kiké last year, Pivetta solid.

But he has had significant misses:

- While trading Mookie became inevitable (perhaps) when Bloom arrived, he got a terrible return for him (one slightly above league average outfielder, a fringe ML catcher, and a dude who will never have an ML career).
- He hedged at the deadline in 2021, only pulling trigger on Schwarber because he could get him for cheap, but at the sacrifice of not having him for 3 weeks. The team had the potential to win it all, and he wasn't aggressive in trying to put it over the top. They went from best record in the AL, to barely making it into the playoffs over the next two months.
- The 2022 off season was baffling, trading or letting a lot of offense walk without replacing it. Leaving clear holes in the outfield and building a bullpen of scrap heap dudes. Story again was essentially a bargain signing, the cheapest of the available All Star free agents. I like Story, but his offense had already begun to decline in 2021.
- And then the schizophrenic trade deadline of 2022, in which Bloom himself admitted things didn't go as he anticipated between the penultimate and the final day (maybe indicating he really got hosed by other GM's and is not a persuasive deal maker). He neither aggressively went for, nor aggressively dismantled the team, thereby not yielding as many prospects he could while the team was heading to the basement. He somehow tried to sell the idea that Pham and Hosmer were acquired to GFIN. If he believed that, then I questions his suitability to build a team. His handing of the 2022 deadline clearly had him on his heals, having to awkwardly defend his process to the press, repeatedly saying, more or less, "I can see how this would seem confusing." And he didn't even manage to dip under the luxury tax for the year either. Really horrendous work here.

The totality of this paints a picture of a man afraid to be bold, worried more about making a mistake than anything. A pattern of half measures, hedged decisions, and inadequate returns trail him. Again, a strengthened farm means his time hasn't been totally for nought. But his leash should be short at this point. 2023 will need to yield a clear plan and ascendent sense, or he should be fired. Wonder if the Bloom defenders and the Bloom critics can agree on this much: 2023 will be pivotal in our assessment of him?
A few comments on this:
  • This characterization of the Mookie trade ignores a number of important things that are crucial to assessing the deal: David Price and his contract — probably the most valuable part of the return — is unmentioned, as is any approximation of the actual value of one season of a yet-unextended Mookie Betts on a then-record arb3 salary, or a comparison to any other trades of similarly-situated players. For example: Goldschmidt — another recently-traded star player with one year remaining — returned the Diamondbacks a terrible pitcher, a catcher who has been worth 3.5 WAR over 4 seasons, and an infielder with a negative career WAR who is now 28 and in AAA for the Nationals, as well as a competitive balance round B pick. The Betts return was several multiples better than that. That would be like getting a washout pitcher instead of Verdugo, still getting Wong and Downs, but only getting an extra third round pick instead of the ~$50m of salary relief. I'm not saying that the Betts return was the best return ever for a star player — I'm saying that it was in the top half of similar recent trades. Dean Kremer is decent, but unless Yusniel Díaz puts it together suddenly, Kremer looks like he might be the only value the Orioles got for the Machado trade.
  • It is really remarkable to characterize Bloom's 2021 deadline as a failure, given that the team A) made the playoffs, and B) came pretty close to winning the pennant, which they would probably have achieved except for C) Matt Barnes' collapse, also a big factor in the fading down the stretch you mentioned. I don't think your evaluation of that deadline is widely shared.
  • I agree with you about 2022 to an extent. I would have sold, and pretty hard, as I advocated at the time. But I also saw a case for "buying and selling," but I would have done it quite differently. I would have been looking to trade players like Eovaldi and Wacha and Vazquez and Martinez to assemble a prospect hoard to flip for a high-end controllable player: either right then at the deadline or as a kind of preparatory phase one for the offseason. But there was some value to trying to retain what ability to compete in 2022 we thought we had, even if it was a 15% shot or whatever. And it isn't like he derailed the team's future to do it — we're not gonna miss Nick Northcut or Jay Groome terribly, I don't think.
My mostly positive assessment of Bloom is pretty much based on this: Dombrowski built an awesome team in 2018, but had us on the Angels/Tigers glide path to a stars and scrubs roster with amazing elite talent but without the supporting cast to actually field a winning team. Bloom said on a podcast the other day that he felt that the Betts trade made sense because a Red Sox team that retained Betts was not likely to produce a competitive roster during Betts' prime. In other words, we'd be signing up Betts to be Mike Trout. He contrasted that with Devers, and said that we now have the talent pipeline to offer a huge extension knowing that we have a chance to surround a star player with complementary pieces. I think that might be right, even if I personally would have wanted to extend Betts anyways.

Instead, after a decade-plus homegrown SP drought, we find ourselves with real depth at the position. Some of that was Bloom holding onto guys it must have been tempting to flip, some was bringing in guys like Whitlock. I would sign a guy like Bello (and maybe even Crawford?) to deals like the one Bloom gave Whitlock.

I agree that 2023 will be pivotal, because I think we need to see how Bloom's FO navigates the entire success cycle to have a sense of how these moves add up. The Portland Sea Dogs are going to lay waste to the Eastern League next year. That bodes very well for the next few seasons. The last time we had an excellent AA team was the 88-54 2014 squad, and, well, that talent core laid the groundwork for a few division titles and a World Series win.

But I think that we're going to see some of that boldness you're looking for now that we're in a good position to both spend a pile of money and trade from the farm to add to the big league roster. I think it should be possible to build a contender in 2023, and a very good contender in the following years. We have clear needs, there are available players who meet those needs, and the resources are there to try to get some of those players.
 

GB5

lurker
Aug 26, 2013
438
My position on this is as follows:

1.Chaim didn’t come here with a talentless MLB roster and even though he had some bad contracts the 240 mill payroll still gives him room to work in free agency.

2. The assumption in this thread is that next year is similar to this one, and the question is what happens to Chaim then.

3. most seem to think that he would be on the hot seat for 2024. My feeling is that he shouldn’t get the chance to guide the 24 team.

4. if he gets within 2 wins of a pennant, that assumes that he has agood roster and absent a directive coming from ownership about slashing payroll, you shouldn’t be that far off from being close to winning it all.

5. To go from that, to back to back last place and sub .500 means that something has gone terribly wrong. You can say injuries..etc, but the results are the results.

6. There is a lot of suggestion that he gets a pass for building up the farm system. That’s great, but his job is to win MLB games. If the farm system helps,then that is fantastic, but ultimately he is judged on the success of his team at the MLB level. He has about the 10-11 rated Minor league system, if he finishes last next year but the system moves up to say 7, are we happy? If they finish last again the following year but the system moves up to the 3-4 range, do we remain patient?
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,588
6. There is a lot of suggestion that he gets a pass for building up the farm system. That’s great, but his job is to win MLB games. If the farm system helps,then that is fantastic, but ultimately he is judged on the success of his team at the MLB level. He has about the 10-11 rated Minor league system, if he finishes last next year but the system moves up to say 7, are we happy? If they finish last again the following year but the system moves up to the 3-4 range, do we remain patient?
If there's tangible results, yes. The farm should start producing on field value in 2023 and 2024. If that isn't the case, bye. For him not to get a chance in 2024, I think 2023 would have to be a lot like 2022 but with no young players about to break into the majors or establishing themselves as such.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
My position on this is as follows:

You can say injuries..etc, but the results are the results.

6. There is a lot of suggestion that he gets a pass for building up the farm system. That’s great, but his job is to win MLB games. If the farm system helps,then that is fantastic, but ultimately he is judged on the success of his team at the MLB level. He has about the 10-11 rated Minor league system, if he finishes last next year but the system moves up to say 7, are we happy? If they finish last again the following year but the system moves up to the 3-4 range, do we remain patient?
What teams just call up guys from AAA and don't miss a beat?

I'm for remaining patient. Bloom won't have much to say about whether they win in 2023 unless they bring in a lot of veteran talent -- at top dollar. If they try to do what I think a lot of us would agree is the best strategy, building the roster with a sizeable contribution from the farm system, then you don't fire the GM because some pre-arb kids didn't develop exactly on time. If you bring in a GM to revamp your entire system, do you then say "oh and you need to be in the playoffs in year 4 or you're gone"? That's kind of ridiculous. Also do people think replacing a GM is like replacing a right fielder, just delete one guy and plug in another? Like there aren't a whole bunch of people who make up the GM's team? And there are other replacement GMs just hanging around waiting for a call?
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
43,165
If there's tangible results, yes. The farm should start producing on field value in 2023 and 2024. If that isn't the case, bye. For him not to get a chance in 2024, I think 2023 would have to be a lot like 2022 but with no young players about to break into the majors or establishing themselves as such.
You have your finger on the pulse of the farm more than most here. Who do you think can make an impact in 2023 who hasn’t already made it up? Rafaela? Mata? There don’t seem to be a whole lot of obvious options to me when you exclude Casas/Bello but curious to get your take.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,588
You have your finger on the pulse of the farm more than most here. Who do you think can make an impact in 2023 who hasn’t already made it up? Rafaela? Mata? There don’t seem to be a whole lot of obvious options to me when you exclude Casas/Bello but curious to get your take.
It's more about 2024/25, but Rafaela, Walter, Mata. There's also an outside chance that someone like Kavadas or Hickey lights up AA, earns a promotion to AAA by the end of June and we see them in September. This is what we saw with Bello this year.

The first 3 will be starting the year in AAA. Most decent prospects don't spend a full year in AAA without getting a call to the majors.

Enmanuel Valdez and Wilyer Abreu could possibly see playing time in 2023 as well. They will also be starting the year in AAA. It really depends on the direction the Sox go in this offseason. Veteran talent at top dollar or signing some cheap stop gaps and actually giving a chance to players like Valdez, Abreu and, Wong to see if they can do anything at the major league level.

If you think the team is going to try and seriously compete in 2023, it's pretty much Bello and Casas. If you think it's going to be more of a bridge year, it's Bello, Casas, Mata, Walter, Rafaela, Abreu, Valdez, Wong. Possibly Kavadas, and Hickey. We'll probably see Seabold regardless. Chris Murphy. Franklin German. Thad Ward probably starts the year in AAA too and he was pretty impressive on his return from TJS.

It also depends how you define the word "impact." I don't know if they'll make an impact, but if the Red Sox go with more of a bridge year, they have a lot of AAA talent close (or as close as the will ever be) to the MLB. At some point, they'll have to let some of them sink or swim. Or never try them at all, I guess.
 

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
11,602
You have your finger on the pulse of the farm more than most here. Who do you think can make an impact in 2023 who hasn’t already made it up? Rafaela? Mata? There don’t seem to be a whole lot of obvious options to me when you exclude Casas/Bello but curious to get your take.
Mata and Walter will probably be in the pen at some point next year. Walter, by virtue of being left handed, might even be in the rotation when Sale and Paxton go down with injury. Rafaela will probably get a chance in the OF when they’re confident that his bat is ready. Kiké might be a trade deadline casualty with Rafaela stepping into the spot. Enmanuel Valdez will be up at some point next year, whether as a 2B, 3B, or LF remains to be seen.