Some smart and thoughtful posts here but I gotta say, all this anguish and outrage seems overblown.
I don't fault Bloom/the FO for 2020 whatsoever. Baseball was the furthest thing from my mind that year. From an accelerationist perspective, there's an equally valid argument that our last place finish that year was incredibly canny,
because it brought us Mayer. Once E-Rod, Sale and Benintendi went down, there was no way we were going to be competitive, and honestly, who cared anyway?
Bloom had a year to throw some spaghetti at the wall and essentially tank without any pressure.
2021 was terrific. There were some rocky moments, but the team got very good seasons out of Pivetta, Whitlock, Kiké Hernández, Renfroe, Arroyo and Houck when nobody at the start of the season had expected them to contribute whatsoever.
The team ran into a terrific Astros team that they mostly shut down, except for Yordan Alvarez.
2022 was a cursed year from the start, complicated over the winter by lingering pandemic concerns, the lockout and dead ball situations, the fuzzy regulations about sticky stuff, plus another Sale injury. The biggest issue was that we had terrible injury luck. Bloom traded Renfroe to clear a spot for Duran, a guy that 90 percent of this board was psyched about, and it backfired, because everyone got hurt and Duran stunk. In fact, several of the 40-45 FV prospects that Bloom had hoped would click did not pan out (Duran, Dalbec, Downs, Cordero, Darwinzon Hernandez, Jimenez, Groome, Rosario, Potts), which is a drag, while others (Winckowski, Seabold) were thrust into emergency duty. Nonetheless, the team got a great year out of Wacha and Strahm, and may have found solid long-term pieces in Schreiber, Refsnyder, McGuire and Crawford.
On Bogaerts, I'm convinced that the Sox FO simply didn't see him as a shortstop long-term. ZIPS has him projected
for a .764 OPS in 2025 and struggling to crack .700 OPS in 2029, when he still has five more years left on this deal.
I believe they would still have kept him around at 7/$200M or so, but no one could have blamed them for not matching Preller's deal. I suppose offering 7/$175M a year ago might have done it, but do we really want a .760 OPS 2B/3B making that kind of money? When we have Devers/Yorke/Romero/Lugo/Valdez/Hamilton/Paulino in the system? I think some of the outrage is the Sox fanbase's inability to reckon with the idea that Xander Bogaerts is a very good player and a great dude, but not a superstar.
Were there things I would have done differently? Absolutely. Signing Correa at 10/$325M last year would have looked absurd at the time, but it's below-market now. In hindsight, it would have made a lot of sense to sign Gausman, Springer, Schwarber or Realmuto at their respective deals (though one never knows: the Bumgarner, Rendon, Strasburg, Donaldson, Ozuna and Ray deals look like disasters).
But I still believe there is a plan in place. The plan absolutely needs to cohere around some star players, which is why I think a Devers extension and Correa signing is still very possible. (Or maybe the plan is Ohtani, or Soto). Or, I suppose, giving long-term extensions to core pre-arb players like Bello, Casas and eventually Mayer — though I don't like a half-decade rebuild. If that stuff doesn't happen, then I'll be mad. But I'm not mad on December 8. I'm kind of excited by the additions of Jansen, Martin and Yoshida, and I'm looking forward to the next wave of transactions that Bloom is going to make.
It does not help us that the Boston media, aided by advanced subscription and click-rate metrics, now admittedly covers the team "like a soap opera"
(to quote Rob Bradford after the Plawecki nonsense).