Right or Wrong - These Moves Took a Lot of Guts


Chaim Bloom has been the Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer since October of 2019.  Boston’s CBO was tasked with some of the hardest decisions that anyone in the game has had to make in recent history.  In his short tenure, he has moved on from Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Jackie Bradley Jr. (probably).  Win, Dance, Repeat is no more.  Whether you love the trades or not isn’t really the point.  The fact that Bloom stepped in and made these tough decisions for the betterment of the franchise deserves fans’ and the baseball community’s respect. 

After winning the 2018 World Series, Alex Speier wrote a book titled “Homegrown: How the Red Sox Built a Champion from the Ground Up.”  I’m reading it now.  It details all the moves made that led up to their 2018 championship team.  For team building dorks like myself, it is a fantastic read so far.  But it also adds more context to how difficult these decisions were for Chaim Bloom to make. 

On February 10, 2020, Boston moved arguably the most talented player in franchise history.  Mookie bets was sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Was it the right move?  I believe it was.  Betts was facing the last year of his contract and reports were that the two parties were far apart.  Sure, Chaim Bloom and the front office could have just brought him back and played out the 2020 season.  But they would have risked Mookie leaving for nothing in return.  Reading the tea leaves, I think Betts would have at least tested free agency.  Almost every single superstar that tests the free agency waters does not return to their original team. 

The Red Sox received Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, and Connor Wong.  Solid players with really strong upside.  Considering Bloom had zero leverage this return is pretty darn good.  Boston didn’t just get a top of the lineup outfielder and a potential everyday infielder, they also were able to get from underneath David Price’s contract.  Don’t get me wrong, it hurt losing a mega star like Mookie Betts.  But Chaim Bloom brought in a trio of players that would help the Sox short and long-term plans.

Exactly one year later, the Red Sox front office traded Andrew Benintendi to the Kansas City Royals.  Side bar…what is it about the 10th of February that get the trade juices flowing for Chaim Bloom?  If he does it again next year then it is officially a tradition.  Back to the originally scheduled programming.  Benintendi was coming off of a year plus of underwhelming performances.  Most argue his value as a major leaguer has never been lower.  The fact of the matter is another bad year would have made him untradeable, and maybe even unplayable. 

Bloom was able to bring in five players for Andrew Benintendi.  We are going to have to wait until May at the earliest to know who the three players to be named later are.  Hence the “to be named later” title.  We do know that outfielder Franchy Cordero and RHP prospect Josh Winckowski are coming to Boston.  Neither player has the major league resume that Benintendi has created.  Will it work out?  I certainly think it will.  

Regardless of the result, the decision could not have been easy.  Even though Bloom wasn’t at the helm when the outfielder was selected it doesn’t’ change that he is a fan favorite and a world champion.  It is never easy to move on from a player that was selected seventh overall pick just about six years ago.  Even if it was a great decision for the franchise, which is my opinion. 

Jackie Bradley Jr. is still a free agent as I am writing this article.  The signs around the league are giving the impression that he will not return to Boston, but the market says there is still a chance.  Outfielders are being signed seemingly every day, but Bradley remains available.  So only time will tell if JBJ returns.  I bet that if he does come back to Boston it will be on a very team friendly contract.  The game of chicken seems to be working for the Red Sox in regard to Bradley Jr. 

Whether Chaim Bloom goes down as a hero or a zero, you can never say that he was afraid to make bigtime moves.  Moves that came with a ton of feelings for the team, the franchise, and the fans.  I have to respect the man for that, and you should too. 

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattyKiwoom

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Right or Wrong - These Moves Took a Lot of Guts
Right or Wrong - These Moves Took a Lot of Guts
Boston Sports Syndicate
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