During the slog that was the 2019 season, we kept waiting for then-President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski to make some moves that would improve the team’s woeful pitching (as well as the gaping hole at second base) and give them the shot in the arm they needed to get back into contention. However, as the July trade deadline came and passed, all we got for our troubles was the underwhelming Andrew Cashner and a third place finish.
As fans waited for something, anything to happen in the lead up to the trade deadline, Dave Dombrowski was non-committal and evasive as to whether the team would make a move and add another impact player or two while a few weeks prior, owner John Henry stated matter-of-factly that he wasn’t looking to add any payroll.
That message was solidified further by the end of the season when Henry stated that the team needed to reset the tax penalties by getting under the $208 million threshold and that they had known this “for more than a year.”
It seemed as though the Sox went all-in on this by hiring Chaim Bloom who spent years in Tampa Bay working for a team that continually had to do more with less. Bloom mostly sat out the Hot Stove season, opting instead for low-risk, low-reward moves by signing or trading for players like Martin Perez, Jose Perraza, Kevin Plawecki, Trevor Hildenberger, and Austin Brice while letting free agents RIck Porcello and Brock Holt walk away.
In terms of players already on the roster, the team avoided salary arbitration with Mookie Betts ($27 million) and Jackie Bradley ($11 million) while failing to come to agreements with Andrew Benintendi and Eduardo Rodriguez.
The trade rumors surrounding Mookie, Bradley, and David Price continue to swirl, so far they’ve come to nothing.
While nobody really expected Bloom to go all out on the higher-priced free agents this offseason, I’m sure most of us also didn’t expect him to do so little to improve the team’s real areas of need. In a move that seems to sum up Bloom’s offseason thus far, there was mutual interest between the team and reliever Steve Cishek, but the team didn’t want to pay him the $6 million he eventually got from the White Sox.
As of the time of writing, the Red Sox haven’t really done much to bolster their lineup beyond the aforementioned low risk signings, but they also haven’t done much of the payroll slashing they proclaimed they were dedicating this offseason to. In fact, as of right now the team sits at $234.6 million in commitments, not even $10 million less than where they ended last season and a far cry from the $208 million threshold they said they wanted to get under. All of that leads to…