Red Sox: Error on Chaim Bloom for not signing Kyle Schwarber

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 18: Kyle Schwarber #18 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after hitting a grand slam home run during the second inning of game three of the 2021 American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on October 18, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 18: Kyle Schwarber #18 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after hitting a grand slam home run during the second inning of game three of the 2021 American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on October 18, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
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Kyle Schwarber should have been at first base for the Red Sox

Chaim Bloom was hired to put the Red Sox in a different direction with a search for low-cost value players, build up a farm system, and prudent payroll management. As with any corporate change, the results are mixed, and just what level of self-autonomy is Bloom given?

The magic of hindsight allows us to be selective GMs, CBOs, or whatever title senior management wishes to dispense on those they hire. As mentioned with the word autonomy, just how much leeway is given to Bloom?

I assume that Bloom does not operate insular and must present the more significant contracts to senior management for approval. Conversely, I have no idea if Bloom is adamant about specific deals being best tossed in the compost. Whatever it is, Bloom’s fingerprints are attached. For me, the failure to sign Kyle Schwarber is pinned to Bloom.

Why is Schwarber playing for Philadelphia? The lefty slugger was brought aboard in 2021 to provide much-needed hitting. Schwarber did that in 41 games, slashing .291/.435/.522 with seven home runs and 18 RBI.

Schwarber – an outfielder and a relatively poor one defensively – willingly took on first base when needed. He will not be a Gold Glove candidate at any position, but when you slug, defensive lapses are overlooked – as with Rafael Devers.

The slugger signed with the Phillies for 4yrs/$80 MM and is doing three things of note: Hitting home runs, whiffing (29.5 K%), and being patient at the plate (14.4 BB%). We saw the same in his brief Boston stay. Meanwhile, at first base for Boston are Bobby Dalbec and Franchy Cordero.

Cordero is a batting practice long ball legend, but it does not translate to the game. Still, Cordero is playing a decent outfield and a gawd awful first base (-43.2 UZR/150). Cordero’s improvement is noted from 2021 with a 105 wRC+. Dalbec checks in with a 71 wRC+ but is considerably better defensively (5.4 UZR/150) Schwarber should have been at first base.

The Red Sox fans, media, myself, and management swooned over Dalbec’s 2021 surge in August and September. The righty blasted 14 home runs, struck out a ton, and improved defensively at first. I could see management passing on Schwarber, but you need insurance, and Schwarber can play first, the outfield, and hit. Manager Alex Cora fit Schwarber in rather well in 2021 and would have done it again in 2022.

Schwarber professed love for Boston, and that was returned. He could have stayed if he exercised his $11.5 MM mutual option but chose to enter the open market. Why did the Red Sox pass? Was it Dalbec? Were they serious about Freddie Freeman? Is it highly ranked prospect Triston Casas? Were they planning to hop into the free-agent pool, which they did with Trevor Story?

What happens now is the Red Sox are shopping to shore up first base. Statistically, they come in with a -0.3 fWAR and just eight home runs and 40 RBI. This is a power position, and at this point, it is short-circuited. Now don’t get me started on James Paxton’s deal.

Jarren Duran is likely here to stay. dark. Next