Boston Red Sox failure in 2020 can be a future opportunity

Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox failure this season can mean future opportunity.

The Boston Red Sox are muddling along in 2020 and the early results are certainly not promising. The reason du jour is the pitching, but there are certainly other holes, concerns, and question marks. There are proverbial expressions that are designed to encourage optimism and face adversity. One appears below.

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade – Elbert Hubbard"

The Red sox have an opportunity that is attendant to the misery that they now face and it comes in two forms: Internal and external. Both will be windows in this 37% season that Chaim Bloom and his staff can use as evaluation tools towards a rebuild of the team.

The internal is the most cognizant since the evaluators are operating with a known product – the players that they have. As the playoffs become distant, the opportunity rises to see just what a Bobby Dalbec, Darwinzon Hernandez, or even Connor Wong can do at the MLB level for more than a cup of coffee. Will Hernandez get primed for a starter’s role? Can Dalbec hit enough to compensate for the whiffs? I would love to see Michael Chavis get a real long look.

This also translates into what is considered the active 25-man, or now 28-man roster. Jackie Bradley Jr. will be a free agent and how he performs over the 37% season can determine his value both to the Red Sox and elsewhere. And then you have Andrew Benintendi who is into arbitration and starting to cost more than the value returned. Is he tradeable? Is he worth the risk of keeping?

This is just a few crumbs I toss out and there are certainly quite a few more regarding their health, potential, or future with Boston. This certainly applies to other teams who will be observant of the Red Sox looking for players to trade for, sign as free agents, or to avoid like a visit from the IRS. Conversely, that segues into the external and “the other guys.”

Teams are in flux, most notably the Miami Marlins which thanks to COVID-19 have been faced with significant roster turnover. They are not alone operating in an MLB vacuum. I cannot recall such a flurry of roster moves as having been witnessed since the start of the truncated season. This certainly provides evaluators – specifically in this instance the Red Sox – for the opportunity to examine products elsewhere. Without a functioning minor league system, this just may be it. Free agents, players on the cusp of release, players with health concerns, and the prospects of all flavors.

The Red Sox pocketbook will have some free cash available and that means potential free agents. Just a cursory examination of the list shows it to be rather sparse (thankfully) in top of the line free agents. Less of a chance for the Red Sox to compensate for management failures in their usual method – spend with the attendant overspend attached. Still – if Bloom is the real deal – a bargain or two and hopefully more will be unearthed as it was done in Tampa.

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Health is also on the table as many a player – particularly those whose livelihood depends on doing magic with the white sphere – have some issues. Unfortunately one huge question mark for Boston – Eduardo Rodriguez – will remain so since he is toast for 2020. But other teams have players with nicks and dents and sometimes value diminishes with health concerns.

The Red Sox every year players who simply get jettisoned to land elsewhere. Apparently our pitching staff is a very special landing place for arms who have been battered elsewhere and now have the chance to repeat that process with the Red Sox. Seems we witness this almost daily with the rotation and bullpen. Maybe something will stick?

These are often players on the cusp – borderline talent that is dumped elsewhere. Jose Peraza could be a value as the Reds simply sent him packing. These are the one line translation players that teams collect. There are players being outrighted almost daily and optioned. More will be available once 37% is finished or even as it trudges onward.

Prospects and potential usually operate in tandem, but as coach Darrel Royal once stated: “Potential means you ain’t done nothing yet.” My fervent hope, baseball prayer, wish, etc. is that Bloom is looking at prospects elsewhere. Prospects that may shine, be considered under the radar, or routinely dismissed as not a snowball’s chance of a solid MLB career. Bloom has already pulled the trigger on the Mookie Betts deal and other deals may follow. Never rule out anything – even Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, or J.D. Martinez. Dealing any would be a bad move at first glance.

Wheels are coming off an overworked bullpen. dark. Next

Good judgment comes from experience and Bloom has demonstrated both. Will it continue with Boston? Will Bloom still make the right choices most of the time in signing players and looking for value? Bloom also now has what he didn’t have in Tampa – the power of some money.