Grading Chaim Bloom's Recent Moves


Over the last couple of weeks the Boston Red Sox have been pretty active on the market.  Chaim Bloom and company have made some moves, and in my opinion, they were pretty solid deals.  A few things have become clearer.  The Red Sox wanted to bolster their 2021 roster, which to me is most important.  They just were not going to overextend themselves to finalize any deal.  They set a budget to fill the holes on their roster and when the market fell within their budget, they were quick to strike. 

Here is the breakdown of the recent moves made by Chaim Bloom including grades.  My breakdown consists of three categories.  How good the player is in a vacuum, how well the player fits the roster (now and long term), and if the deal itself was good or bad.

Martin Perez signed for 1 year / $4.5 million (includes 2022 option for $6 million and accelerators in 21)

Player:                  C-

Red Sox fans know who Martin Perez is as a pitcher.  He is a back end of the rotation starter, but he will give you a lot of competitive innings.  Last season, his Hard-Hit percentage was the best of his career.  Martin Perez posted an ERA of 4.50 but showed flashes throughout the season that he can be an effective starting pitcher. 

Fit:                         B-

Boston needs starting pitchers and more importantly they were looking for someone who will be able to take the ball every fifth day.  It could be argued that they need better starting pitchers (which is why the Fit is a B) but Perez will help this team in 2021.  The lefty did receive bonus points because he showed that he can pitch well in Boston, something that is not easy to do. 

Deal:                     A

I have no real qualms with the deal that Perez received.  Bloom was able to save about $2 million by declining his option from his previous contract and starting over on reaching an agreement.  The accelerators are fair for both sides and, if he proves to be effective, retaining Perez for $6 million is beneficial for Boston.

Overall:                 B-

The deal was smart, the player likes Boston, and the fans like the player.  Can’t really be mad at this deal at all. 

Enrique Hernandez signed for 2 years / $14 million

Player:                  B-

Kiké Hernandez has been the Dodgers rover for the last few seasons.  He can play multiple positions and has been productive enough at the plate to get a chance to play every day.  Hernandez will be a mainstay in the back half of the Red Sox lineup and be the primary second baseman.  Kiké provided pop for the Dodgers and in Fenway Hernandez will have the chance to truly breakout in 2021.

Fit:                         A-

From what I could see in Los Angeles, Hernandez was a fan favorite.  The guy plays with a bunch of energy and has been a part of a winner for the past handful of seasons.  I think he will be great in this market and fit in great with this roster.  Positionally he fills a short term need at second base, but I think he is more than capable of taking some games in left when Jeter Downs is ready.  Kiké Hernandez will be an important piece to this team being successful.

Deal:                     B-

It was obvious that the offer the Red Sox were comfortable making for a second baseman was two years and $14 million.  I think when you read the tea leaves, you can assume that they offered a similarly structured deal to Ha-seong Kim and Jurickson Profar.  Both guys got the $7 million per season but landed longer deals.  The money is fair given the market, but they could potentially have a $7 million utility man if Jarren Duran and Downs are in the big leagues.  But if that is the only real downside, I think the deal proves to be solid for Boston.

Overall:                 B

Patience proved to be key for the Red Sox.  Although I would have loved to see HS Kim in a Red Sox uniform, Hernandez will provide similar statistics and fit took the deal Boston was ready to make.  Good move for Boston.

Garrett RIchards signed for 1 year / $10 million (includes 2022 team option for $10 million)

Player:                  C+

Garrett Richards has never truly lived up to his potential.  Granted his ceiling was extremely high, but he just didn’t have a real breakout season.  In 2020, Richards looked the best that he has since 2015.  His ERA wasn’t pristine, but in the shortened season ERA can be a deceiving statistic.  The righty will bring his elite fastball to Boston.  His fastball velocity is in the 82nd percentile and his fastball spin is in the 97th percentile.

Fit:                         B

Paste the explanation given to Martin Perez, except Richards gets a higher grade because his ceiling is higher and the need for another righty starter was high. 

Deal:                       B+

When the contract was first reported I was surprised that Garrett Richards received $10 million.  Admittedly, the starting pitching market is still very cloudy, so when the picture clears up $10 million may fall right in line.  Again, Chaim Bloom was interested in making short term deals and I have always said a one-year deal can never blow up in your face.  Richards also received a team option for a second year which completely benefits the Sox.  If he performs, he is easily worth $10 million.  And if he doesn’t fit or the team isn’t competing, Richards is an easy flip at the deadline. 

Overall:                  B

Garrett Richards is a classic case of low risk, high reward.  The type of moves that fits best for the Red Sox in my opinion.  Not only does he have a great fastball, but his curveball is also in the 99th percentile for spin and that attribute is sought after by teams.  The ceiling is certainly high and if he fails than he is gone next year no harm no foul.  Smart move for the Red Sox.

Acquired Adam Ottavino and Frank German for a PTBNL or cash

Player:                  A-

Adam Ottavino seemingly had a bad 2020 season, but when you dig deeper it wasn’t nearly as bad as it appeared.  His ERA of 5.89 was grossly inflated by one bad outing because he only pitched 18 innings.  If you remove the 6 ER outing in Buffalo (that’s right, Buffalo) his ERA comes down to 2.98.  Ottavino has one of the nastiest sliders in baseball and is extremely good against right-handed batters.  Because his stuff is still very good, he could easily be the closer of this ball club in 2021.

Fit:                         A-

The second Adam Ottavino arrives to spring training he will immediately be the Red Sox most talented reliever.  The bullpen is still desperate for some ability, but the righty certainly helps fill that massive void. 

Deal:                     A

Personally, this was my favorite deal that Chaim Bloom has executed this offseason.  My only concern for Bloom was that he wouldn’t do big dog moves given his past with a small market.  Between what he did and last year’s draft and this offseason, I’m convinced he has that aggressive instinct.  But that is a subject for a different day, now back to the breakdown.  Grabbing Ottavino from a rival for essentially nothing was such a smart move.  His contract is one year / $8.15 million, which made it super easy to take on for Boston.  Not only were they able to add their best relief pitcher, they also added a prospect that could help the big-league club this year.  That is not my option, that is the ETA on for Frank German.   I love the aggressive move from Bloom, and I love his response to the deal as well.

Overall:                  A-

This deal was a no brainer for Boston and could prove to be the most important move of the offseason.  If you are worried about his 2020 season, I wouldn’t sweat it.  His K/BB was up, and his strikeout percentage was still hovering around his normal rate, about 30%.  Envisioning Ottavino having a bounce back 2021 is not hard to do.  Bringing in Adam Ottavino and buying a prospect in the same deal was beyond crafty.  Love the trade for the Red Sox.

Cham Bloom waited until the time was right and attacked the market.  I think he went out and improved the 2021 roster but did not jeopardize the long-term success for this franchise.  It was a busy couple of weeks for the Red Sox, and as a fan I am pumped to see that the executives are not going to just lay down and play strictly for the future.  Time to sit back and see if the Red Sox continue to stay busy.   

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattyD_rose

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Grading Chaim Bloom's Recent Moves
Grading Chaim Bloom's Recent Moves
Boston Sports Syndicate
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