Chaim Bloom’s Collaborative Mindset Will Save the Future of the Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 21: A detail of The Boston Red Sox logo on a jersey during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 21, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Boston Red Sox Introduce Chaim Bloom

The Boston Red Sox compiled a list of about 20 candidates, but only conducted one interview. The team welcomed their new Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom on Monday during a press conference in Boston. Principle owner, John Henry, with Tom Werner and Sam Kennedy alongside introduced their newest 36-year-old employee. The ownership group also addressed the Dave Dombrowski, and Mookie Betts situations.

Bloom, who has been with the Tampa Bay Rays since 2005 is now inheriting the largest payroll in baseball, with the goal of lowering salary below the luxury tax threshold; Bloom seems like the perfect candidate to make this happen.

Tenure in Tampa Bay

Through his years in Tampa, Bloom has seen many different positions, all of these have supplemented into Bloom having control of almost all aspects of the organization at some point in his tenure. Starting as an intern, taking over Minor League operations, and being the second in command of the Major League roster before coming to Boston. His resume to this point should be promising to Red Sox Nation.

The Rays have been forced to become one of the most creative franchises in baseball due to their payroll restrictions; most recently, Tampa has popularized the “opener”. Along with all of this, Bloom and the Rays have been one of the most effective organizations this century when it comes to developing good, young starting pitching — a department the Red Sox have struggled in immensely. Just to name a few, David Price, James Shields, Alex Cobb, Chris Archer, Blake Snell, Jeremy Hellickson, Jake Odorizzi, and Matt Moore are some of the pitchers Tampa has grown and raised over the years.

Collaborative Mindset

Chaim Bloom began his media availability by expressing what the organization hopes to accomplish.

“To build as strong an organization as possible in all aspects, so that we can have sustained long-term success, and compete for championships year-in and year-out.”

He also addressed how important a farm system can be in a winning organization. The Rays have continuously produced starting pitching from the farm, whereas the Red Sox currently rank in the bottom third of baseball in terms of Minor League talent.

“It’s really hard to build a sustainable winning operation without a strong farm system over time. That can obviously take many forms, and it’s not just pitching, you need all sorts of talented players to compete for a championship. Needless to say, the strength of our farm system will be a huge emphasis going forward, as it has been here in the past,” said Bloom.

Dombrowski’s Departure

Bloom, along with Henry brushed off the notion that the organization has had a short leash with Bloom’s predecessors. Henry highlighted that they have only had four different general managers in over 20 seasons.

“We have made changes when we thought they were appropriate,” said Henry. “What you always want to see in an organization is stability, and I think we’ve had that. We made a change because this organization group came to the decision we needed to make a change.”

Henry went on to address the Dombrowski situation especially. Henry also perhaps shines some light as to why Dombrowski was let go so suddenly.

“Dave was a tremendous General Manager and is Hall of Fame executive, we differed on how we should move forward, and we decided to make a change. We were extremely desirous of bringing in someone who would augment and add as opposed to bringing in someone who might have a one-man show. That’s one of the reasons we were so impressed with Chaim; I know we keep using the word, ‘collaborative’, but that’s what it takes to run a successful organization.”

Future of Betts

The panel was peppered with questions about the future of Betts. Werner noted the elite talent of his right fielder but ultimately implied that no progress has been made.

“We think he’s one of the great players in baseball, and in a perfect world, we would like to figure out a way for him to continue to be a player for us for his entire career. He has the right to test free agency. We’ve had conversations with him in the past, and Chaim and his group will lead conversations going forward.”

Betts’ future will certainly be at the top of Bloom’s to-do list this offseason. Betts has been noncommittal in previous discussions. With one year remaining on his current deal, he could be a prime trade-chip this winter. Bloom’s experience developing pitching and working in the Minor Leagues could benefit Boston during this process.

Red Sox Outlook

If Chaim Bloom is able to retain J.D. Martinez, the team could still have enough star-power to remain competitive without their former MVP. Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, Chris Sale, and Price are still under contract; not to mention Christian Vazquez who had a breakout 2019 campaign. The haul of prospects that Boston could get in return for Betts would be something to salivate over. It’s hard to think that this looming decision didn’t play a factor in the firing of Dombrowski; an executive who has had trouble identifying young talent. Bloom’s eye for prospects will be an asset for the Red Sox moving forward.

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