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The Chaim Bloom Era Is Over In Boston

Joshua Linnehan

    On Thursday, September 14th, the Boston Red Sox announced that their head of baseball operations, Chaim Bloom, was fired. Bloom was the Chief Baseball Officer for the past four years, starting in the shortened 2020 season. The Red Sox experienced ups and downs with Bloom in charge. The most successful season was their 2021 campaign, where they were two wins away from making the World Series. Besides that, Boston has been at the bottom of the tough AL East division, finishing last in 2020 and 2022, and are currently battling the New York Yankees for 4th place in 2023. Overall, Boston finished with a 267-262 record with Chaim.

Once the reports were out, many Red Sox fans were ecstatic to see Bloom shipped off after another mediocre effort so far this season, with a record of 74-73. The main criticisms during Bloom’s tenure were some unsuccessful trades or lack thereof during the trade deadline. After signing Kyle Schwarber during the 2021 deadline (who was a critical piece to their Postseason run), Chaim didn’t make a big move the last two deadlines. In 2022, they were at a 53-52 record before the deadline and finished 25-32 the rest of the way to finish under .500 at 78-84. In 2023, they were 57-50 before the deadline and are currently 74-73, giving them a 17-23 record since. 

When Bloom was hired, he immediately had the tall task of trading away their franchise star, Mookie Betts. While the Betts’ trade to LA gave Boston a solid outfielder in Alex Verdugo and their current starting catcher Connor Wong, they still underachieved. Betts won a World Series with the Dodgers in 2020, and is currently an MVP candidate this season. A few more examples of underperforming trades would be the Andrew Benintendi trade in February 2021, in which the only valuable return is reliever Josh Winckowski. Another questionable trade was Hunter Renfroe being dealt in December 2021, for three players who are all currently not on the Major League roster. 

There are definitely some overwhelming positives from Bloom’s tenure, however. The main goals that Boston looked to achieve with Bloom in charge were to reduce team salary and get under the luxury tax threshold, and he did just that. He had success with the Tampa Bay Rays from 2016-2019 as Vice President of Baseball Operations, despite having one of the lowest payrolls in the league; a huge factor towards his hiring. With the previous President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, the Red Sox were at least the Top 3 in payroll from 2016-2019. At the start of the 2023 season, Bloom dropped them down to #13. Chaim was also able to revamp a farm system that was ranked the #25 worst in the league when he started. MLB Pipeline ranked the Red Sox farm system at #16 a month after the 2023 MLB Draft. While it’s a hitter-heavy farm, players like Marcelo Mayer, Ceddanne Rafaela, and their latest first round pick, Kyle Teel, will/have already made an impact in the Majors.  

There isn’t a clear favorite to take over Bloom’s position at the moment, as Sox’s baseball President Sam Kennedy said that former Boston GM Theo Epstein is not a candidate for the job. A few names to throw out here in the early stages is Brandon Gomes, the current GM of the LA Dodgers. Mike Hazen is the current GM for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but he’s served as Red Sox GM and senior vice president in the past. A fun choice would be former Major Leaguer Sam Fuld. Fuld is currently the Phillies GM, working under ex-Sox president Dombrowski. He had Red Sox connections, as he was the likely choice as manager for Bloom if Alex Cora had not returned from his 2020 suspension. Regardless of who’s in charge this upcoming season, they will have a solid foundation to build off of thanks to Bloom.