Red Sox Nation needs to curb their free agency spending expectations

Feb 27, 2020; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox general manager Chaim Bloom takes questions from reporters during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 27, 2020; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox general manager Chaim Bloom takes questions from reporters during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports /

Red Sox Nation needs to have realistic Free Agency expectations

The offseason is here and the Red Sox have their hands firmly planted in the cookie jar. It feels like as each day goes by the team has themselves attached to another rumor and possible free-agent signing. Honestly, the offseason is one of the best times of the year since there’s always something exciting going on and the team has yet to crush our spirits. With plenty of work needing to be done to this roster, Chaim Bloom is going to have to do some shopping, and that brings me to my point for today.

Bloom and his team need to smart with their spending and allocate funds to the right puzzle pieces. The Red Sox made the trade of a lifetime when they sent Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers in order to get their salary below the CBT threshold of $208M. Once the season passed the trade deadline the penalty marker was reset and Boston could get back to spending without the budgetary guillotine above their neck. But just because they have a new lease on their spending life, doesn’t mean they should abuse it.

When the season ended and I knew the team had the cash to burn, I was like many in that I wanted them to go out and buy the pieces they need to fix the disaster that was 2020. We’re just two seasons removed from the most dominant Red Sox team in history manhandling the league on their way to a ninth World Series crown. This last year? They finished fourth from the bottom and were an absolute joke.

I wanted Chaim to open the checkbook and start handing out big paydays just like his predecessors, but that mentality has since changed. I recently had a conversation with BSI’s Sean Penney about the matter and he brought me back down to Earth. Boston won’t be in contention in 2021 so why would it make sense to get themselves back in financial hardship just to underperform again?

When he posed that thought to me it was like a lightbulb went off. It was the unchecked spending of the past that got us into the mess that caused the salary dump this past winter. Just as it had years ago when the Red Sox dropped another massive trade onto the Dodgers to right previous wrongs. Spending for the sake of spending won’t instantly make this team a winner again, and in fact, it could make them worse.

So, Red Sox Nation, we have to grab a hold of reality and realize that while there will be some spending this winter, it won’t be an all-out shopping spree with every big free agent coming to Boston. As much as we want them to once again show that they’re a big market team and can splash the cash on anyone and everyone, it’s just a terrible idea.

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The name of the game right now is smart contracts and salaries that won’t cripple Bloom and force him to trade away players unnecessarily again. For him, he needs to take his small market budgeting and morph it into a system that will work for the Red Sox. We as fans can’t lose our minds when a free agent signs elsewhere, especially if the price tag is astronomical. Just because we can afford to sign certain big-name players doesn’t mean we should. I can afford a PS5, but that doesn’t mean I should just go out and drop $500 because I can.

The market may not have a laundry list of superstar players but there are plenty of bargain options that could instantly make this team better. Not to mention, the new crop of free agents added to the pile thanks to being non-tendered earlier in the week. Chaim can easily pick up a handful of solid players to fill the voids on the roster and build a competitive team for 2021 while not breaking the bank, and that should be his goal.

FSG has given him the green light to spend as there’s zero chance they’ll allow the team to go another season being a joke. But they’d be wise to keep an eye on the checks being handed out to avoid another nightmare that delivered us to 2020. Luckily for the Red Sox, Bloom isn’t Dave Dombrowski and it would need to be a special case for him to give out a massive contract.

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Once again, we as fans need to realize that there are multiple balls in play ahead of the 2021 season. The Red Sox are going to spend but it won’t look like it once did, and it shouldn’t. We need to change our mindsets from being fans of a big market club that spends without regard to being fans of a club that spends wisely to avoid issues down the road. Chaim Bloom is the right man for the job to help change that culture and we need to let him do his thing and have a realistic grasp of what Red Sox baseball will look like going forward.