Former Red Sox GM Chaim Bloom looks ahead before a game at Fenway Park.
Photo: Stuart Cahill / Boston Herald
Chaim Bloom is no longer the President of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox. And Red Sox nation needs to chill out and thank the man. He did a better job than most GM’s in baseball could have, and definitely 100x better than the fans that hate on him. He and his administration built the core of the next successful team, and I don’t think that fans will give him any love then, so I will right now.
Let’s start out with some essential context. It’s 2019. The Red Sox have missed the playoffs after winning the World Series just the year prior, and GM Dave Dombrowski has been fired. He left the team with a bottom-5 farm system, bad contract extensions, and Mookie Betts with just one year left on his contract. Oh, and they had no financial flexibility due to past years over the luxury tax. The plan for the next couple of years was simple. Cut salary to gain financial control, and then compete. In the meantime, build up the farm system for sustained success. Naturally, Bloom, a former Rays executive, was a perfect match. What ended up happening was the Mookie Betts trade, a top-5 farm system on the rise, fewer big-money signings, and John Henry using Bloom and his office as scapegoats for the last 2 mediocre seasons. Here’s why Red Sox fans need to quit their yapping and ease up on Bloom.
Red Sox prospect Marcelo Mayer at the Futures Game in 2023.
Photo: Rob Tringali / MLB Photos via Getty
Farm System Success:
Dombrowski left the organization with 1 top-100 prospect in rookie Micheal Chavis. Bloom leaves with 4 of them in SS of the future Marcelo Mayer, draft steal OF Roman Anthony, super-utilityman Ceddane Rafela, and catcher of the future Kyle Teel. Oh yeah, Bloom drafted and developed ¾ while Dombrowski didn’t even draft Chavis. The only other notable prospects in the Red Sox top-10 with Dave Dom were Tanner Houck, and Triston Casas. Bloom ends his tenure with studs like Nick Yorke (power-hitting 2B), Mikey Romero (well-rounded SS, still just 19), 2023 second-rounder Nazzan Zantello, and a future star OF in Miguel Bleis (who would have been a top-50 prospect in all of baseball if not for early season injuries). Take what you want from here, as prospects don’t always pan out, but Bloom did his job here.
Prospect Wilyer Abreu after hitting a home run in Triple-A Worcester.
Photo: Katie Morrison-O'Day / MassLive
Great Trade Deadline Deals:
An obvious one here for Bloom is the Kyle Schwarber deal in 2021 that propelled them to the ALCS, but the Christian Vazquez deal is a huge early win. The Sox got back OF Wilyer Abreu who has flat-out raked since his call-up in late August, and 2B Enmanuel Valdez who played key games in their early season success. Dombrowski had amazing success as well, with trades like Steve Pierce, Nathan Eovaldi, and Addison Reed. The differences in the trades are evident. Some were for the future, while others were for the present. But both GM’s did their jobs. Dombrowski was there to win, but Bloom was here for the future. Fans just need to realize that. Chaim was here to build the future, while making deals for a team that had an outside shot, just like he did in 2021.
OF Alex Verdugo during a game at Fenway Park vs. the Angels.
Photo: Michael Dwyer / AP
This is the biggest one, and the one that most fans either don’t recognise, or choose to ignore. Mookie Betts wasn’t Bloom’s fault. Xander Bogaerts wasn’t Bloom’s fault. They were set up by the ugly Pablo Sandoval, Chris Sale, David Price, and even Eovaldi’s extensions. Those contracts limited finances and when John Henry realized that Mookie Betts was a free agent he had two clear choices. Sign him and end up paying luxury tax till the end of time, or trade him and get some sort of compensation and get under the tax. He tasked Bloom with the job of trading him. And Bloom did the right thing. Alex Verdugo, Connor Wong, and Jeter Downs were fair compensation for 60 GAMES OF COVID BALL Mookie Betts. People forget that Betts was going to test free agency before the season was shut down and the Dodgers gave him stability with the massive 12-year extension. Bloom’s job was to get under the tax so Henry didn’t have to pay it. That’s also why we have Masataka Yoshida instead of Bogaerts. Cheaper, and better. I know the Trevor Story contract looks bad right now, but I have faith that he will live up to his contract. As of now Boston has TWO players over $20 million AAV. Story (22.5), and superstar Raffy Devers (29.9). Whether you like it or not, Chaim Bloom did his job. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good for the horrible situation that Boston was in. By 2026 the team is going to reap the benefits.
The Best Part:
The best part of the blog is predicting the 2026 Red Sox and I believe that Bloom put them in a great spot to succeed. Obviously, there are some holes that the new GM will fill, but most of the starters will be Bloom signed, drafted, or developed.
Red Sox 2023 First Round Pick, Kyle Teel runs the bases during a game with the University of Virginia this year.
Photo: Ben McKeown / AP
C - Kyle Teel (draft)
1B - Triston Casas (developed)
2B - Trevor Story (signed) [he could be traded by this time as well]
SS - Marcelo Mayer (drafted)
3B - Rafael Devers (extended)
LF - Masataka Yoshida (signed)
CF - Miguel Bleis (signed as an international FA)
RF - Roman Anthony (drafted)
DH - Nick Yorke
C - Nathan Hickey (drafted)
1B - Nicko Kavadas (drafted)
INF - Mikey Romero (drafted)
INF - Nazzan Zantello (drafted)
INF/OF - Ceddane Rafaela (developed)
OF - Wilyer Abreu (acquired as a prospect)
Ace - Brayan Bello (developed)
2 - Wilkman Gonzalez (developed)
Back End Reliever - Josh Winkowski (acquired as a prospect)
Back End Reliever - Bryan Mata (developed)