Red Sox leadership sat down for a Town Hall Q&A tonight
This evening, Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom, Manager Alex Cora, and President/CEO Sam Kennedy joined longtime NESN personality Tom Caron in a “Town Hall” roundtable discussion about the team.
Many of the questions pertained to topics we have heard time and time again: Is Jackie Bradley Jr. coming back? Once again the response was one and the same “We would love to have him back,” as MassLive’s Chris Cotillo tweeted during the conference.
While there were many interesting questions and responses worth discussing over the course of the lengthy discussion, one response from Bloom stuck out when the CBO was asked about the future of the team —
"“We’re building a team that will compete every year, that’s our main goal,” Bloom said."
Many people have scrutinized the Red Sox organization’s game plan since the day they relieved Dave Dombrowski of his role and eventually replaced him with former Tampa Bay Rays executive Chaim Bloom. Bloom inherited a team with some serious voids to fill, and little money to work with.
In his first six months, he was informed that ownership would prefer to be as far under the CBT threshold as possible and the only way for the CBO to achieve this goal was in the form of parting ways with franchise icon Mookie Betts and pricy veteran starting pitcher David Price.
The return for the two players in hindsight, especially after some recent franchise icons changing teams, was an impressive haul. From that point on, it was clear that Bloom was brought in with the goal of rewiring the way Boston operates as a franchise.
Rather than going out and buying the biggest name on the free-agent market, they’ve managed to get as creative as a team could be in bolstering both the major league roster and the farm system. For example, the recent trade for Ottavino may have cost a few more million than a similar free-agent signing would cost, but a prospect changed hands in the process.
The trade came as a surprise to many as the Red Sox traded with the rival Yankees and even ruffled some Boston fan’s feathers. Nonetheless, Bloom saw the opportunity to add youth and did not pass on the opportunity. During the Town Hall, Kennedy jokingly noted that he felt that Bloom “picked Brian Cashman’s pocket.” Joking or not, Cashman himself praised Bloom for his willingness to take an opportunity regardless of the fact that it came between a division rival.
Chaim has been very busy since he took the helm in 2019, making several additions to make the team better for the long haul. While not every single transaction he and the rest of the front office have executed has panned out to this point, there has been a significant amount of depth added to the organization as a whole. The depth at pitching alone going into 2021 versus this time last year is eye-opening.
Bloom cited at one point during the sit-down that he envisioned the organization as the type of franchise that would have the depth to make trades from a deep farm system, much like the Padres have been able to do for the entirety of this offseason and last season’s deadline. Now comes the hard part for many Red Sox fans: patience.
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The transactions of today may not immediately mean that the team will be winning a pennant tomorrow, but rebuilding, whether you want to call it a mini-bridge or a full-blown rebuild takes time. Bloom’s response might sound cliche but if you take a look at the track record of Boston’s transactions since his arrival he has done everything in his power to build depth.
The Red Sox are still a competitive team on paper and with a few additional tweaks, can very well be a player in the American League East this coming season. That does not imply that those tweaks require handing over an additional $10 million to a single player, but little moves as we have seen of late could be enough to get the ball rolling to a season that sees Boston finish with a winning percentage over .500.
For the interim, fans can expect a team that will get the job done, but may not blow the fish out of the water unless they truly get hot. The long-term goal, as it should be, is to be a consistent franchise with up and coming talent that has the depth to make any moves that might make the team better.