Red Sox are still in a holding pattern regarding substantial improvements
The Boston Red Sox organization has treated the offseason as a quiet zone regarding substantial improvements. Still, their latest actions have made the Worcester Red Sox, or WooSox, a potential International League powerhouse.
The latest additions are minor league deals with Travis Shaw and Deivy Grullon. Shaw was rescued from the waiver wire after being jettisoned by the Brewers in 2021. Shaw, now 32-years-old, had a rather “meh” turn of duty with his Boston reunion, hitting .238 in 28 games. The lefty did power three home runs and did make the playoff roster.
Shaw has some defensive versatility with extended playing time at first and third base in his career.
Grullon is by trade a catcher who did make a brief Red Sox appearance in 2020. The right-hand hitter is 26-years-old and passed through three organizations in 2021. Grullon and Shaw are both depth acquisitions and may or may not last through the aborted spring training.
Meanwhile, management is ignoring the free-agent market on the relevant team at least in not making a splash. Freddie Freeman could have been a worthy solution to first base, as Kyle Schwarber would, and both are elsewhere. But, hey, Bobby Dalbec hit a spring training home run, so I plead guilty to overreaction.
Trevor Story and Carlos Correa and still unemployed as I pound the keys. Both play shortstop, and we already have one for another year. Neither can pitch, and that may soon become the focal point of Chaim Bloom with Chris Sale now on hold. Oh, would Max Scherzer look good right about now?
Management knows what they are doing, don’t they? Bloom has a measure of success, and the team has won four titles. What do the common hoi polloi of the fan base know? We sputter around with unrealistic signings, fantasy trades, and crude comments on team direction.
That is quite reminiscent of my previous life in lower management where we would kibbitz about why senior management was neglecting the apparent, ignoring marketing trends, and living in the past. What did we know? The reality is the common folk was on to something, and we watched the systematic destruction of a one-time industry leader. Hmmm…I believe the Red Sox team is an industry leader – for now.
An appropriate idiom for the Red Sox is the fish rots from the head down, so Bloom is merely a functionary of senior management. Management’s apparent priorities are NASCAR, hockey, soccer, and a tediously boring broadsheet. The Red Sox team has long been the driver for all that and now it is being ignored.
When you have repair work to do, the idea is to do it and provide an upgrade. If you are going to lose, you lose with panache and not a collection of baseball Joe’s. The Yankees, Jays, Dodgers, and Mets may end up in the trash bin, but the ride will be enjoyable. Right now, the Red Sox ride is going over a bumpy road in a car with worn shocks.
The unofficial goal of the Bloom administration was the resurrection of the farm system, and that system was devastated like locust to a wheat field by the previous administration. Dave Dombrowski traded away talented prospects, signed off on questionable contracts, and also won a World Series title.
Well, the farm system is back or at least off life support—great news for the folks in Portland, Worcester, Salem, and elsewhere. While we wait for the next Mookie Betts or Lars Anderson, the product that counts is adrift while our opposition in the American League East is getting serious.
My glimmer of hope is that in the next few months, the Red Sox management will take full advantage of their financial resources and prospect stash to make the necessary additions, especially to pitching. Then I can do a mea culpa article and have a serving of crow.