Chaim Bloom didn’t consider my opinion in making Red Sox moves
As Boston Red Sox fans, we certainly know far more about the intricacies of baseball than management, coaches, and scouting. That is displayed at the baseball parks and on social media and blogs. Writing articles has Captain Obvious moments and opinions. Red Sox fans love opinions. Going back several months, I noticed some of my opinions that Red Sox management – especially Chaim Bloom – choose to ignore.
Matt Barnes as a closer had failure firmly stamped on it. That Barnes was even offered a contract was to be a stunning example of corporate mismanagement. I was targeting two relievers – Kirby Yates and Brad Hand. Yates is gone due to Tommy John Surgery and Hand is having a Barnes-like season if you do it pre-2021. I’ll ignore door number three and Trevor Rosenthal.
Why waste $10 million on a pitcher who went 8-12? And that record was accomplished over five seasons! The Red Sox paid $8.5 million for Garrett Richards this season with (now thankfully) an option of $10 million for 2022. The guy was a wreck with an injury and performance issues that said: “career over.” There must be someone in the organization that knows something.
Martín Pérez for $6.5 million is like paying fifty bucks for a breakfast sandwich. The reality is Pérez is a decent lower rotation pitcher and always has been. So far this season the lefty has actually been a stabilizing piece in the rotation. And actually a fiscal bargain.
I was not alone on this one and thankfully did not write an article, as others did, pushing for signing Yasiel Puig. Puig could be captured on the cheap and Boston needed outfield help. The right-hand hitter is just 30 years old, has power, speed, and a decent glove. Puig is also carrying more baggage than an AirBus Heavy flying from New York to Paris.
On the outfield front, I would have been all in on George Springer. A big-ticket right-hand slugger with defensive skills surpassed by his hitting. Springer was bagged by the rival Blue Jays and has been on and off the injury list. As Springer nears 32-years-old, this has down the road problems for Toronto written on it.
Another choice of mine is also north of 30-years-old. Marcell Ozuna crushed it at Fenway Park in 2020 and seemed like a perfect fit for Boston. The market for Ozuna was rather stagnant and Bloom decided to pass. The Braves re-signed Ozuna to a multi-year deal.
I hate the Yankees and a wonderful way of expressing it is to steal away their best player. DJ LeMahieu would have solved the second base issue and provided that dynamic hitter in the middle of the lineup. After much drama, LeMahieu signed a six-year deal to return to the Yankees. Seems our two through five in the Red Sox lineup are doing rather well without LeMahieu.
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A few others on BSI jumped on the Jake Odorizzi bandwagon. I did not but was supportive in comments regarding the potential signing as a smart move. Odorizzi languished on the free-agent market until the Astros were faced with a pitching crunch. Odorizzi signed a three-year deal and his long history of minor injuries has surfaced. Looks like Pérez was the better option.
The lefty answer to Odorizzi is José Quintana who was prominently mentioned as a Red Sox possibility. Quintana signed a one-year contract with the Angels for $8 million. So far the only benefits have been for hitters. Pérez was a better option.
In the blind squirrel department, I would have signed Kolten Wong. Wong is a Gold Glove defense player at second base and a smart hitter. Wong signed a two-year deal with the Brewers for $18 million and has picked up where he left off after eight seasons with the Cards. Bloom should have listened to me!
Bloom did listen to me on Jackie Bradley Jr. The Red Sox did not seem especially anxious to sign Bradley who was eventually a late signing by the Brewers. So far it is typical Bradley with a superb glove and a rubber bat.
I never would have brought back the ethically challenged Alex Cora to manage. Cora was really the central figure in the trash can escapade but since he won a title with the Red Sox all is forgiven. So far Cora has done a splendid job managing and squeezing out talent from position players and pitching.
Hunter Renfroe? What were they thinking? Renfroe hits a home run a week and couples it with a bushel of whiffs. Cut loose by the Rays. So far, Renfroe has lived up to his offensive standards, but this guy is a sparkler defensively. Right now, either eyeball or metrics, he is the tops in right field defensively. Now just get that average up to the .250 range.