Chaim Bloom must navigate Red Sox through big-budget waters
After a long winter and what felt like an even longer regular season, we may be seeing the Red Sox of old very soon. Going into 2020 Chaim Bloom was brought in as Boston’s new CBO in an attempt to get the spending under control and rebuild the farm system. So far so good as he’s gotten the team well under the CBT and looks like he’ll have a $36M cushion. The big problem is, he’s not used to having a budget the level that he now has and must avoid the mistakes of the past to protect the future.
MassLive.com did the calculations and they have Boston’s 2021 budget in the ballpark of $173M with the possibility of it being either a bit higher or lower. That’s pretty damn good considering the financial headache that Bloom inherited from Dave Dombrowski, he only had to trade away a franchise player to correct it. Now that he has the previous constraints off of his shoulders he can truly begin to fix the team and add the pieces that they need.
My biggest worry is that Chaim will feel the pressure from his bosses to spend big this winter and will wind up bringing in pieces that won’t actually pan out. We all remember the Pablo Sandoval incident, right? Interestingly enough, Panda is a free agent this winter! Hopefully, someone in the Red Sox front office has deleted his phone number from the virtual Rolodex. For Bloom, his biggest goal this winter should be to add the necessary pieces while not overspending unnecessarily.
I recently wrote about the five free agents that I think he should put at the top of his list this offseason. Four of the five were pitchers with an even split between starters and relievers, and the fifth player was Jackie Bradley Jr. Pitching is of the utmost importance ahead of 2021 as the rotation is still in flux despite the news that Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez are both working towards their returns.
Unfortunately, this year’s free-agent class isn’t heavy with pitchers but the ones that will be available are quality and can be signed for a reasonable price. How he negotiates and pitches the idea of playing for the Red Sox will be dire to the team’s success with signings. Harp on the big success over the last 15 years while trying to hide the peaks and valleys that come with it. If he can put a pretty bow on playing in Boston, then he may be able to sweet-talk some of these better free agents into signing.
There’s another reason that Bloom and the Red Sox need to be very cautious about their spending this winter and that’s COVID. We’ve seen some of the major sports leagues bring back fans to a degree and there are plans for MLB to have fans in the later portions of the playoffs.
However, the big worry has been the next wave of COVID, which we’re already seeing, pretty much-putting things back to a grinding halt. If it’s as bad as is being projected, then it’s really hard to imagine fans at Fenway Park in 2021, at least for the first part of the season.
So, if the team once again has to go a long span of time without ticket sales, concessions, gift shop sales, and the like, then they need to keep as much of that budget as possible for salaries. The team joined others in the league as the season came to a close where they began laying people off, which was just a matter of time. The Red Sox held off as long as they could and didn’t release as many people as some other organizations, but it still occurred.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
There’s so much still up in the air and it’d be downright negligent for Bloom to go on a shopping spree. Luckily for Red Sox Nation, that’s not the type of guy he is, and we saw that during this past season. He wheeled and dealed for bargain bin players, granted, that didn’t always work out but it did bring some great players to Boston.
When all is said and done, Chaim is going to need to spend some money while not feeling the pressure from his bosses to overspend to regain fan interest. I feel like he’s the right guy to find that balance where executives in the past were more than happy to appease FSG and bring in big names for big bucks. It’s a strategy that rarely works and has only bit Boston in the past, no need to revisit it during a rebuild.
Bloom will most likely mimick what he did this year and do a mix of bargain talent and top prospects while sprinkling in a big free agent or two. He’ll need to rely on his experience and guy to keep the balance in the force or else we’ll be right back where we were ahead of 2020. He’s the right guy for the job and I’m very interested in seeing what he does now that he has the money to spend and a growing farm system.