The Boston Red Sox have gotten off to a solid start — 11-10 through 21 games — despite a lot of turnover.
While promising, the team sits in last place of the loaded American League East and some obvious roster holes entering the season have come to fruition — namely the lack of star power in the rotation and production up the middle. Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom made little-to-no effort to strengthen those groups.
Entering his fourth season, Bloom is at the point where it’s fair to place praise or blame on his shoulders depending on how the 2023 season goes. If the season unravels as it did a season ago, Boston might turn to a storied rival to bolster the front office.
“There has been no indication from Red Sox ownership that they are contemplating a change,” The Athletic’s Jim Bowden wrote Thursday. “However, there is buzz around baseball circles that Bloom could be in trouble and (New York) Yankees executive Brian Sabean is one name that’s been circulating among people outside the organization as a possible replacement, according to multiple MLB execs and insiders involved in those conversations.”
As Bowden noted later, Sabean was the general manager of the San Francisco Giants during their three World Series wins in a six-year span. The 66-year-old executive is known for building strong pitching staffs through the farm system and acquiring position players after they’ve been developed — a seemingly opposite approach to Bloom.
The Red Sox haven’t had a strong group of pitchers roll through the farm system in decades and could use Sabean’s expertise in the field.
It also is common for organizations to go toward the opposite philosophy when times are tough and changes are needed. That ideology can be seen politically and in sports — think back to how many times an NFL franchise fires a defensive-minded coach and hires a former offensive coordinator or vice versa.
With all of that said, Bloom could be far from out of the door. The team has been impressive overall over expectations and his prized prospects are getting closer and closer to making their debuts.
The starting pitching woes are exceptionally frustrating given Bloom’s lack of interest in frontline pitching over the winter. The middle infield is performing even worse than expected since Bloom essentially stood pact after losing both Xander Bogaerts and Trevor Story — at least for the first half. Ryan Brasier and Kaleb Ort are still on this team even after the bullpen was revamped.
Despite all of those frustrating moves, Bloom does seem to have an eye for diamonds in the rough and appears to have built a solid big-league roster and promising farm system.
Garrett Whitlock is a budding superstar and now Josh Winckowski is taking similar strides in the same role. Adam Duvall opened the season on fire and provided a much-needed power stroke to the offense just two years after Hunter Renfroe did the same for the 2021 roster.
Overall, it’s a wait-and-see approach to whether Bloom is the guy in Boston or not. It appears that ownership is on the same page, and will give him at least the full 2023 season before potentially making a move.
If I had to bet on it, I’d lean toward Bloom keeping his job this winter after the Red Sox at least slightly exceed expectations in 2023.