Red Sox Hire Chaim Bloom As Chief Baseball Officer

JimD

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Wanted to bump this thread to show some appreciation to Chaim Bloom in how he handled the Betts trade. Everyone in the world knew that the Red Sox wanted to drop below the luxury tax threshold this offseason. Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers also knew how much Boston wanted to offload David Price's contract and were unable to do so separately (I'm sure the Sox and Dodgers had conversations) and that this deal was pretty much Bloom's only realistic hope. Then, when the original deal runs aground thanks to concerns about Graterol's medicals, the Twins balk at fixing it and a three-way staring contest ensues. Chaim was arguably holding the worst hand because he likely had no better alternatives available that accomplished the team's desired goals, but he held his ground, Friedman and Derek Falvey blinked first, and the Red Sox arguably got a batter package in the end. He acquitted himself very well under not only the Boston media pressure but in the spotlight of all of MLB, and the fact that they flagged a concern in Graterol's medical records shows a careful approach that should pay dividends in other areas. I don't know yet what to expect from the 2020 team, but I'm pretty happy that Bloom is the guy in charge of this reloading process.
 

Ale Xander

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Where was this careful approach to getting, and then keeping when you had a chance for a makeup, on Verdugo? It's still tone-deaf to bring Verdugo in.

I don't buy that he had the weakest hand. He had the best player, and maybe even the 2nd best player, and a trade partner that desperately wants a WS ring. He had the strongest hand.

I'm still happy Bloom is in charge of the rebuild, but I don't have to be happy that there's a rebuild in the first place, for big-market team, and that the major part of the rebuild is trading away your best positional home-grown player in ages for a guy with a checkered off-the field past.
So no, I don't blame Bloom at all. I do blame ownership and DD for the Sale/Price/Eovaldi/JBJ moves that made this move a reality.
 

Van Everyman

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How can you be made about the Price deal? They needed--and paid for--a market rate deal for the best starter on the market and it netted them a WS.

Wanted to bump this thread to show some appreciation to Chaim Bloom in how he handled the Betts trade. Everyone in the world knew that the Red Sox wanted to drop below the luxury tax threshold this offseason. Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers also knew how much Boston wanted to offload David Price's contract and were unable to do so separately (I'm sure the Sox and Dodgers had conversations) and that this deal was pretty much Bloom's only realistic hope. Then, when the original deal runs aground thanks to concerns about Graterol's medicals, the Twins balk at fixing it and a three-way staring contest ensues. Chaim was arguably holding the worst hand because he likely had no better alternatives available that accomplished the team's desired goals, but he held his ground, Friedman and Derek Falvey blinked first, and the Red Sox arguably got a batter package in the end. He acquitted himself very well under not only the Boston media pressure but in the spotlight of all of MLB, and the fact that they flagged a concern in Graterol's medical records shows a careful approach that should pay dividends in other areas. I don't know yet what to expect from the 2020 team, but I'm pretty happy that Bloom is the guy in charge of this reloading process.
I agree -- you could also argue that Bloom was kind of in a no-win situation from the get-go. His first assignment is to trade for financial reasons the beloved face of the franchise who everyone and their grandmother wants the team to sign to a 12-year deal. That he was able to get a decent return and a lot of flexibility in the process is pretty impressive for the first deal out of the gate -- a MI, backup C and everyday outfielder with potential. About the only criticism you could levy is that they didn't get any pitching in this deal but I suspect Bloom will make some moves to fill those gaps. At any rate, even though the fan in me is bummed to lose Mookie, I, too, am about as pleased as possible because the future of the team looks bright.
 

Tyrone Biggums

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The Verdugo stuff is pretty bad. But again as the reporter on the original piece was careful to say that there was no evidence that he did anything outside of actually filming the women. While yes that means he did something really messed up it does not mean that he molested the girl or knew that the girl was getting molested.

Bloom's job is to get the best return possible for Mookie while making John Henry happy. He did that. Verdugo is a highly touted youngster who has 5 years of control left. Yes he has severe maturity issues but he can grow out of it. He made the best out of a bad situation. Give him a solid B.
 

Manuel Aristides

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I don't buy that he had the weakest hand. He had the best player, and maybe even the 2nd best player, and a trade partner that desperately wants a WS ring. He had the strongest hand.
I'm seeing this thought everywhere (on and off the boards, from lots of perfectly smart and rational people) so I truly don't mean to single out Ale Xander here. But that said, at some point, you have to recalibrate your own opinions versus reality. He very obviously didn't have that strong of a hand. What seems more likely: a team of people paid millions of dollars couldn't figure out how to get market value for a great player, or that the market as a whole refused to pay up and they took the best thing they could find? A player's trade value is determined by what the market will pay for him, not his WAR. Mookie was worth three young players and an additional ~$50 million, which actually seems not crazy to me, but YMMV there. But to assume he had more leverage than everything suggests he did simply because of Mookie's box score is, IMO, silly.

It's Occam's razor: If Mookie + Price were more valuable / if Bloom had a "stronger hand", he would have gotten more for them. Unless you've got some really good sources, acting like you know what else he could have gotten just doesn't make any sense to me.
 

nvalvo

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Where was this careful approach to getting, and then keeping when you had a chance for a makeup, on Verdugo? It's still tone-deaf to bring Verdugo in.

I don't buy that he had the weakest hand. He had the best player, and maybe even the 2nd best player, and a trade partner that desperately wants a WS ring. He had the strongest hand.

I'm still happy Bloom is in charge of the rebuild, but I don't have to be happy that there's a rebuild in the first place, for big-market team, and that the major part of the rebuild is trading away your best positional home-grown player in ages for a guy with a checkered off-the field past.
So no, I don't blame Bloom at all. I do blame ownership and DD for the Sale/Price/Eovaldi/JBJ moves that made this move a reality.
Look at it another way. The closest comp to this situation is probably the Goldschmidt deal — superstar dealt with one year of control left. There are differences, but they point in different directions. Goldschmidt is a good player, but Mookie is considerably better than him. Goldschmidt was willing to sign a reasonable extension, while Mookie (reasonably enough, given that he's already earned $60m or so and has little reason to be risk averse) wants to find his value in FA. The package we got for Mookie is comparable in quality, and probably a few tics better, than what Arizona got for Goldschmidt. AND THE DODGERS ASSUMED HALF OF DAVID PRICE'S DEAL, which could save us from a full rebuild.

I didn't want to deal Mookie, but in part that was because I couldn't imagine that we would get a return for him that would actually be comparable in value to a season of Mookie Betts. I really didn't want to deal Betts with Price, because I assumed that would mean we would get barely any prospect return unless we picked up almost all of Price's deal. Basically, I had trouble imagining another team giving the FO a return that was worth trading for.

I'm still not thrilled at the direction, but if we're evaluating Bloom's negotiating, I think he did very well:
  • Verdugo seems to be a pretty effed up dude, but his rookie performance suggests a 4 WAR player in a full-season's playing time, health allowing. And that's without factoring in any improvement from a 23 y/o or what a good fit he seems to be for the ballpark and the parks in the division. He's our RF now. (Hopefully he shows some personal growth; I'd feel a bit better if we had a more stable manager situation, or any manager situation whatsoever.)
  • [I liked the idea of Brusdar Graterol better than I like the new package, but I trust the Sox doctors on this one.]
  • Downs just had an excellent year for Rancho Cucamonga of the high A California League and Tulsa of the AA Texas League. He improved his walk rate while holding his K rate stable, and continued to drive the ball in the air. He ended the season with two weeks in AA in which he hit seven XBH in 12 games (1.116 OPS) as one of the younger players in the league — so, we might say that he made the transition to the high minors smoothly. He should start in Portland with the goal that he take over the Red Sox 2B job by opening day 2021.
  • The thing with Wong is that while he had a great season in (again) Rancho Cucamonga and Tulsa, it's hard to tell if it's sustainable, like at all. He strikes out in 30% of his PA, and doesn't walk much. That's unlikely to get better as he moves up. But it sure looks like he crushes the ball: he's shown high LD rates and an above average HR/FB for his entire minor league career, and high, sometimes crazy BABIPs. So... yeah. It looks like he could actually be a catcher and a utility infielder, which could allow for some interesting roster setups, and our catching depth situation was completely dire, but it's hard not to conclude that he's a pretty marginal prospect if he can't get those strikeouts under control.
That's a second year player who was a top prospect, a top prospect, and a weird, iffy prospect. That would be a reasonable return for just one year of Betts. It's very good for one year of Betts *and* three expensive years of an old, once-great SP in Price.
 

YTF

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Where was this careful approach to getting, and then keeping when you had a chance for a makeup, on Verdugo? It's still tone-deaf to bring Verdugo in.

I don't buy that he had the weakest hand. He had the best player, and maybe even the 2nd best player, and a trade partner that desperately wants a WS ring. He had the strongest hand.

I'm still happy Bloom is in charge of the rebuild, but I don't have to be happy that there's a rebuild in the first place, for big-market team, and that the major part of the rebuild is trading away your best positional home-grown player in ages for a guy with a checkered off-the field past.
So no, I don't blame Bloom at all. I do blame ownership and DD for the Sale/Price/Eovaldi/JBJ moves that made this move a reality.
I can see where in THAT particular moment of the deal unraveling one might see Bloom's hand as being weakened if not the weakest. In that moment the agreed upon deal hinged on the involvement of a third team. In that moment who's in more desperate need? The Sox are heading into spring training with question marks on their roster and with their manager and still have an edict of getting below the tax threshold. Being "stuck" with Mookie and Price (for lack of a better term) impacts the Sox more than the Dodgers not having Mookie for a few weeks or even months. Chaim stood his ground, didn't blink and got the deal done without the help of a third team.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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How can you be made about the Price deal? They needed--and paid for--a market rate deal for the best starter on the market and it netted them a WS.
I agree in principle that if you pull a ring out of it, almost any deal is defensible and I would put the Price contract in that group. But I'd take issue with characterizing that deal as "market rate" -- Dombrowski paid significantly more than MSRP to land Price (reportedly $50M more than the next best offer), bidding against himself to persuade somebody skeptical about Boston to go there.

I don't remember what the next best option on the market was at the time, but that Price deal sucked even though the returns Price provided in October 2018 were worth it.
 

Sox Puppet

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Would love it if he could bring back Brockstar on a Moreland-like contract. I don't expect much of anything from Peraza at all, so that way you keep 2B warm until Downs is ready, plus have some flexibility to play him at other positions as well.
 
Jul 5, 2018
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Bumped into Steve Sax this morning at Starbucks. He called the trade a great one for the Dodgers and expects them to sign Mookie after this year. He predicts a bounce back year from Price and that he'll benefit from less pressure pitching behind Kershaw and Buehler.
 

JimD

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Bumped into Steve Sax this morning at Starbucks. He called the trade a great one for the Dodgers and expects them to sign Mookie after this year. He predicts a bounce back year from Price and that he'll benefit from less pressure pitching behind Kershaw and Buehler.
That's pretty cool, although if one of us bumped into, say, Jason Varitek, he'd probably be equally effusive,about the deal from a Red Sox perspective. I seriously doubt Sax has any special insight into what is going to happen when Mookie hits free agency - I don't see Andrew Friedman suddenly morphing into Dave Dombrowski and blowing the field away right out of the gate.
 

E5 Yaz

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Bumped into Steve Sax this morning at Starbucks. He called the trade a great one for the Dodgers and expects them to sign Mookie after this year. He predicts a bounce back year from Price and that he'll benefit from less pressure pitching behind Kershaw and Buehler.
Did he make your frappuccino properly?
 
Jul 5, 2018
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That's pretty cool, although if one of us bumped into, say, Jason Varitek, he'd probably be equally effusive,about the deal from a Red Sox perspective. I seriously doubt Sax has any special insight into what is going to happen when Mookie hits free agency - I don't see Andrew Friedman suddenly morphing into Dave Dombrowski and blowing the field away right out of the gate.

Yeah, Sax said he didn't have any inside information on keeping Mookie. He's disgusted with the Astros and considers what they did to be worse than using steroids. He hosts an MLB talk radio show on Sirius so he follows baseball closely, but still hadn't heard of the Verdugo video story.
 

Al Zarilla

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Bumped into Steve Sax this morning at Starbucks. He called the trade a great one for the Dodgers and expects them to sign Mookie after this year. He predicts a bounce back year from Price and that he'll benefit from less pressure pitching behind Kershaw and Buehler.
Sax about as off with his prediction (Price part) as he was with his throws from second base. I mean, Price will be Price regardless of who he’s pitching with, behind.
 

snowmanny

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After this trade he Dodgers are winning their division by 18 games instead of 12. If David Price pitches in this year's World Series like he did in 2018 and Mookie Betts doesn't have a fucked up swing in the 2020 Series like he did in the 2018 World Series it is a good trade for them. If they are hoping to sign Betts long-term after the season the fact that he's here now makes zero difference.

As for Sax I assume everything was perfect until he tried to put the whipped cream on top.
 
Jul 5, 2018
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Sax about as off with his prediction (Price part) as he was with his throws from second base. I mean, Price will be Price regardless of who he’s pitching with, behind.
I asked him one time about the yips he had and he seemed mildly pissed off, said that it only lasted for 1-2 months and it sucks that so many people remember him for that.
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

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Yeah, Sax said he didn't have any inside information on keeping Mookie. He's disgusted with the Astros and considers what they did to be worse than using steroids. He hosts an MLB talk radio show on Sirius so he follows baseball closely, but still hadn't heard of the Verdugo video story.
He’s not paying any attention and is not good at his job, clearly.
 

ponch73

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Chainsaw318

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Just my personal opinion, but I was thoroughly unimpressed with both the demeanor of the Section 10 interviewers and the insightfulness of their questions. Made it much harder to glean any real intel from Chaim's comments.
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/soxprospects-com-podcast/id309680652?i=1000506047023
I haven’t listened to the Barstool interview posted above (I may not, given mixed feelings on Barstool).

Chaim was on the SoxProspects podcast recently and I thought was honest and clear about Covid, player progress and his Rays tenure’s broad experience.

I like this show, btw, and if you are interested, Baseball Ops VP Ben Crockett is interviewed on the next ep and is also pretty good.
 

BostonFan23

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Re. the Section 10 podcast - was borderline unlistenable for me too, @ponch73 (which I'm sure puts me in the minority) despite Bloom's insight. Will check out his appearance on SoxProspects.