On Thursday morning the Boston Red Sox announced that they have "parted ways" with Chaim Bloom. Bloom was hired back in the winter of 2019 to replace the fired Dave Dombrowski after Red Sox ownership decided to take another direction. Prior to landing the job in Boston, Bloom was an assistant in the Rays front office. Bloom attempted to implement the Rays philosophy of building a championship team. In 4 years the Red Sox had one magic run in 2021 but other than that finished at the bottom of the AL East. There are still 15 games left in the 2023 season so where the Red Sox officially finish still remains to be seen, but they are in a battle with the New York Yankees to NOT finish in last in the AL East.
It's been a severely underwhelming tenure for Chaim Bloom at the big league level where the talent just simply hasn't been there. The dominos started to fall when Bloom made his first big move when he traded Mookie Betts & David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Alex Verdugo, Connor Wong and Jeter Downs. It hasn't been a completely bad move; Verdugo has been consistent to say the least. He's been good defensively but hasn't put up the offensive numbers that we're sure the Red Sox and himself have wanted but he's been able to stay healthy. Connor Wong has turned out to be a reliable option behind the plate filling the void of Christian Vazquez who was traded to the Astros at the deadline in 2022. Jeter Downs simply did not pan out, a highly rated prospect who struggled in small opportunities with Boston. Downs is currently in the Washington Nationals organization.
Most recently in this past offseason Bloom (and the organization) made a semi-partial effort to retain fan favorite Xander Bogaerts who left for the San Diego Padres on an 11-year $280 million deal. Granted its a struggle for Bogaerts with the Padres this season but his defense is surely missed as Boston currently ranks at the bottom of baseball in defense. Betts for the most part has been consistently good for the Dodgers since departure in 2020 and has a World Series title to his name already in the 2020 shortened season.
Going back to Bloom; his tenure is rather similar to Ben Cherington's time as the decision maker for the Red Sox. Finishing last three times in 4 years, one postseason appearance but it was World Series Championship. However, Cherrington refused to trade his prospects which ended up hurting him & the team which led to his firing. Bloom was also hesitant to trade guys who could have brought significant value, not only to future teams but also to help the big league club. Perfect player example is Bobby Dalbec. Dalbec has been raking at Triple-A Worcester this season but hasn't put it together consistently in Boston. A change of scenery might unlock his potential but instead Bloom held on to him rather can cash in on the value.
So what's next? Obviously no decision has been made on manager Alex Cora so he'll finish out the season at the very least. When Cora got hired back in 2018, he was a players manager and then definitely helped as Cora lead the Red Sox to have a record breaking season and capitalize it with a World Series title. Cora was absent for a year as he had to serve his year-long suspension for his role in the Houston Astros cheating scandal; however he was still the guy that ownership wanted, the fans wanted and even the players. Cora obviously was re-hired shortly after the conclusion of the 2020 postseason.
Each of the last two seasons have been a struggle as a lot of it has to do with the mismanagement of the roster and the lack of offensive and pitching talent. At one point this season the Sox were utilizing a bullpen game 3 time per week as the only reliable starters this has had this year have been James Paxton and Bryan Bello. With no pitching help coming in the minors whether it be relief or starting pitching.
Offensively, the team appears to be in good shape. Masataka Yoshida has proven to be a good piece coming from Japan, Jarren Duran has turned into the player the Sox hoped he'd be. Casas has proved he can be a big league hitter and we'll soon have the full emergence of Ceddanne Rafaela and Marcelo Mayer.
However what will be the direction of the team? Obviously during the Red Sox press conference; team President Sam Kennedy and owner John Henry said they want to win championships. As a fan, you have to wonder where that passion was after letting Dombrowski go. Obviously the Red Sox had their reasons for firing him. Red Sox were constantly in the luxury tax penalty and the fair system was completely depleted due to the moves. However it was a plan that worked. Was it sustainable? Of course not. Was it going to be more beneficial and kept a good competitive product on the field? Yes!
Now whether Alex Cora is part of the future or not remains to be seen. If Boston wanted to clean house, Cora would've been fired on Thursday as well. Could Cora possible assume a hybrid role whether it was temporary or permanent. Could Cora be both the GM & manager of the ball club? A conflict of interest sure; but at least Cora would know first hand as to what the team would need on a day to day basis as he's around the players the most. Now this option is highly unlikely. It will either be one of two options, Cora agrees to leave the dugout for the front office role or he remains the manager of the team. Cora still has a couple years left on his deal so there is some flexibility.
The MLB regular season ends on Sunday October 1st, obviously the Red Sox won't be part of the postseason. A lot will be revealed in the next 17 days as to the direction this teams wants to be and go in 2024. We now know Bloom won't be part of the but the book is still out on Cora. We'll has the final 2.5 weeks of the season goes.