Red Sox Rumors: Why Chaim Bloom isn’t targeting one-year rentals
The Red Sox aim to add pitching they control beyond next season
There are a variety of paths that the Boston Red Sox could take to upgrade their pitching staff but it’s clear that mortgaging their future for short-term gain isn’t one of them.
The Red Sox intend to be aggressive in free agency but they aren’t ignoring the trade market as a potential solution to their starting rotation needs. While meeting with the media this week, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom explained why he’s more likely to target trade candidates who remain under control for multiple years rather than a one-year rental.
"“We try to track everybody and be involved wherever we can,” Bloom said, per MassLive’s Chris Cotillo. “Generally speaking, when we’re looking at eating into players under control and players that can be big parts of our future for short-term gain — we’d never rule anything out, there’s always going to be a price at which things make sense — but generally speaking, that’s not really along the lines of what we’re looking to do. We want to make sure we’re building to something sustainable and durable and making sure we have a talent base we could grow and build over time.”"
The topic came up when Bloom was asked about the team’s interest in Lance Lynn, a veteran right-hander who was dealt by the Texas Rangers to the Chicago White Sox earlier this month. Lynn, a former All-Star who finished top-six on the AL Cy Young ballot in each of the last two years and is owed a modest $9.33 million next season, fits the profile for the type of pitcher the Red Sox should be interested in acquiring with one exception – he’ll be a free-agent after the 2021 season.
While Bloom isn’t going to directly reveal details about failed trade negotiations, his response indicates that the Red Sox were never in serious talks to acquire Lynn. As much as he would be a fit for the team’s current needs, the short-term payoff isn’t worth the cost.
Chicago paid a steep price for Lynn, sending right-handed pitcher Dane Dunning and lefty Avery Weems to the Rangers. Dunning was a former first-round pick who is now ranked as the Rangers’ No. 3 prospect by MLB Pipeline.
One of Bloom’s primary tasks is to rebuild a farm system that was rated among the worst in baseball when he was hired by the Red Sox. He’s made several moves to restock the minor league system and understandably would be hesitant to stall that progress by dealing any of his top assets.
Lynn would have been a great addition to the Red Sox rotation but a pitcher of his caliber isn’t going to vault this team back into contention. Improving just enough to climb out of the basement while still falling well short of championship aspirations isn’t a good reason to sacrifice valuable assets from a rebuilding farm system.
More from Red Sox Rumors
- Is Jean Segura the solution to Red Sox’ Trevor Story concerns?
- Red Sox news: Orioles eyeing former Boston arms, Dansby Swanson to Cubs, JD Martinez to Dodgers
- Did Alex Cora just drop a huge hint about Red Sox free-agent target?
- MLB insider hints Red Sox teardown may continue with two trades
- Division rival targeting Red Sox 2022 standout Michael Wacha
If Lynn doesn’t fit the mold for what Boston is looking for, we can cross Danny Duffy, Alex Cobb and any other potentially available starting pitcher with only one year of control remaining on their contract off the list. Those types of pitchers would fill an immediate need but don’t move the needle enough to warrant giving up prospects for only one year of service.
If the Red Sox trade for a starter, Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell or Cincinnati’s Sonny Gray would be far more desirable. Granted, they would take a more impressive prospect haul to acquire but the price would be more worthwhile since they remain under team control for multiple years.
Let’s face it, the Red Sox aren’t going anywhere next year unless Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez are healthy and return to form after missing the entire 2020 season. They need J.D. Martinez to remember how to hit a fastball. Andrew Benintendi needs to prove he still holds some value. Rafael Devers has to be as consistent at the plate and in the field as he was in his breakout 2019 campaign rather than the frustrating youngster who regressed this year.
That’s a lot of unanswered questions facing this team. If most of those issues break the right way next season, trading for a starter could be enough to put Boston over the top. In case several of those players fall flat again, the Red Sox need that new starter to stick around so that the assets they gave up for them don’t go to waste.
Bloom is trying to build toward sustainable success. There are times when it makes sense to cash in your chips for a short-term gain but the Red Sox aren’t currently at the point where they can afford to go all in.