Chaim Bloom’s demise may have been the result of the moves he didn’t make during his tenure as Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer.
One glaring example, according to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, occurred around the 2022 MLB trade deadline. Bradford reports Bloom and Co. had a chance to send oft-injured ace Chris Sale to a team that was willing to take on all of the money left on his contract, but the Red Sox front office wouldn’t budge.
“Per a major league source familiar with the situation, just before the 2022 trade deadline – and a few weeks after Chris Sale had broken his finger in his second outing of the season – a team approached Bloom about dealing for the lefty,” Bradford wrote. “The acquiring club was agreeing to take on all of the money left on Sale’s contract (2 1/2 seasons of more than $50 million), while sending some semblance of players. The Red Sox wanted better players than were offered and no deal was done.”
Just a couple of weeks later, Sale broke his wrist in a bicycle accident and was forced to miss the remainder of the 2022 season. Through 17 starts in 2023 (86.2 innings), the 34-year-old has a 4.88 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. He missed time during the summer due to left shoulder inflammation.
The decision to hold on to Sale and his albatross contract — which former Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski signed him to in 2019 — was a major miss. Injuries have plagued Sale since that ’19 season. He made only 11 regular-season starts from 2020-22 and has hardly looked like himself when healthy enough to take the mound.
Bradford also notes that Bloom’s inactivity at the 2023 trade deadline could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“According to sources, trades involving Alex Verdugo going to the Astros or Yankees were discussed but never completed,” Bradford reported. “The asking price for James Paxton continued the trend of asking for much more than even desperate teams could stomach. And no semblance of pitching help was secured, leaving the Red Sox in an immediate tough spot while being swept by the Blue Jays in a pivotal early-August showdown with the Blue Jays.”
Bloom made some solid moves during his four seasons in Boston, but his consistent hesitance to pull the trigger on a blockbuster seems to have played a significant role in ownership’s decision to move on. Now, it’s up to John Henry to decide which of the available candidates is best suited to build a club that can regain its reputation as a perennial postseason contender.