The 2021 Red Sox find themselves as one of the best teams in the game of baseball. 50 games into the 2021 season and the Boston Red Sox have a .600 winning percentage. The Red Sox couldn’t amass more than 24 wins during the whole of the dreadful shortened 2020 season. Are the Red Sox just simply overachieving? Maybe, as some fans are still looking for them to implode. Or, could they just actually be this good? Optimistic fans will tell you yes, yes they are this good. Just how did the 2021 Red Sox get here? Well, it all really begins and ends with the wunderkind himself, Chaim Bloom.
2021 Red Sox: Why Do All The Kids Hate Chaim Bloom?
On October 25, 2019, the Boston Red Sox hired Chaim Bloom to serve as Chief Baseball Officer. In laymen’s terms, Chaim Bloom is the main individual in charge of the baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox. He is the top guy. A step up from his previous position of Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations, where he worked under only Matthew Silverman. Bloom works closely with General Manager, Brian O’Halloran, and Assistant General Managers, Raquel Ferreira and Eddie Romero.
Plenty of fans on the social media platform Twitter believe they are more intelligent than one of the brightest minds in the game of baseball. They tweet into the void of the horrible job Chaim Bloom is doing for the Boston Red Sox. If you’re reading this, and you’re one of them, why? What has he done that you believe he is so horrible at his job? He’s not horrible at his job. In fact, Chaim Bloom is doing a wonderful job at rebuilding the Red Sox farm system, while building the 2021 Red Sox into a competitive team. Thankfully there are some fans on Twitter who see the light.
Why some fans aren’t big on Bloom honestly comes down to a combination of three things. Mookie Betts, the dreadful 2020 season, and the lack of signing a superstar name to the 2021 Red Sox. To blame Chaim Bloom for trading Mookie Betts might honestly be the most ignorant of all the reasons. Chaim Bloom didn’t walk through the doors of Fenway shouting, “today’s a great day to trade Mookie Betts.” He did not. If Sox fans want to blame anyone, blame ownership. It’s simple. If ownership wanted to sign Mookie Betts to a 12-year, $365M deal, they easily could have. If being a Mookie stan is more important to some, there’s a whole fanbase in Southern California they can join.
Trading Mookie Betts netted the Boston Red Sox Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, and Connor Wong. Right now, right as this is being typed Alex Verdugo has a wRC+ of 121, a 1.0 fWAR, and is slashing .292/.353/.456. Mookie Betts, nearly four years Verdugo’s senior, and arguably the second-best player in MLB has a wRC+ of 125, a 1.3 fWAR, and a slash line of .247/.359/.432. Alex Verdugo is good at baseball. He’s damn, damn good. And the Red Sox are still waiting on prospects Downs and Wong. Bloom and Co. made a darn good trade. A trade that not only helps the 2021 Red Sox but future Red Sox teams.
Now, the 2020 season was hot garbage, the stinkiest kind. If the Red Sox were to have a crap season, be glad it was the shortened 2020, Red Sox fans. Bloom not only traded Betts but he was also handed the awful misfortune of losing Chris Sale to Tommy John, and Eduardo Rodríguez to COVID-19, myocarditis. The patchwork Chaim did wasn’t the best, but he tried a lot of low-risk signings while staying under the luxury tax. In the signings of 2020, Kevin Plawecki and Martín Perez stuck well enough to hang around for 2021. Bloom also claimed Christian Arroyo and Phillips Valdez off of waivers and traded for Nick Pivetta during the 2020 season.
A combination of pitchers, Colten Brewer, Austin Brice, Dylan Covey, Zack Godley, Matt Hall, Kyle Hart, Mike Kickham, Robinson Leyer, Chris Mazza, Jeffrey Springs, Josh Osich, Robert Stock, Domingo Tapia, Andrew Triggs, and Ryan Weber did absolutely nothing to help the 2020 Red Sox team be successful. What these busts in 2020 did help with, along with trading Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree and Mitch Moreland netted the Sox Nick Pivetta, Connor Seabold, Hudson Potts, Jeisson Rosario, and Ronaldo Hernandez to name a few.
The lack of a star signing from Chaim Bloom had nearly everything to do with staying under the luxury tax. And, maybe also because the free agents for 2021 weren’t the most stacked. 2022 and beyond has quite a more attractive availability. What did Chaim do exactly to improve for the 2021 Red Sox season? Well, he added cost-effective proven big-league talent in Enrique Hernández, Adam Ottavino, Garrett Richards, Marwin Gonzalez, Danny Santana, and Hunter Renfroe, picked the Yankees pockets, taking Garrett Whitlock in the Rule 5 draft, and looked toward the talent in japan for righty bullpen piece Hirokazu Sawamura.
2021 Red Sox: The Good Outweighs the Bad
Are you as a fan enjoying the 2021 Red Sox season? If you answered yes, and honestly, why wouldn’t you, you can thank Chaim Bloom for a lot of that. I know some will say, it’s not Bloom, it’s all Alex Cora. Yes, Cora coming back adds a great deal of morale, but it was Bloom’s decision to rehire Cora. You might hate the trade of Andrew Benintendi, and miss his below-average defense, and his slightly above-average wRC+ of 106, all because Franchy Cordero is on his way to Triple-A.
You’ll probably blame Bloom, but you’ll also fail to realize that Josh Winckowski, and three more PTBNL are in that deal. You’ll also fail to understand those aren’t the usual PTBNL level talent, as the 2020 minor league season was canceled. Trading Andrew Benintendi was not a poor move by Chaim Bloom.
If fans believe the Red Sox are not exponentially a better team with additions of Matt Andriese, Adam Ottavino, Garrett Richards, Hirokazu Sawamura, Garrett Whitlock, Marwin Gonzalez, Kiké Hernández, Danny Santana, and Hunter Renfroe, there isn’t much to try and explain to them. The 2021 Red Sox is a better team than the 2020 Red Sox. Just look at the record through 50 games. Currently, the 2021 Red Sox are 0.5 games behind the reigning American League Champion, Tampa Bay Rays.
The 2021 Red Sox are far from perfect, but they’re good. Really good. There are holes. If fans see them, Chaim sees them, and if the Red Sox are hanging around in July, you can bet your bottom dollar that improvements will be made to the 2021 ballclub. Chaim Bloom has given fans exactly what they asked for, a very competitive team for the 2021 season while building a sustainable future.
As it pertains to the farm system, Chaim is also doing a bang-up job. According to Sox Prospects, the number two, four, seven, and tenth ranked prospects of the top ten were all either signed or traded for under Chaim Bloom’s tenure. If you go deeper, fourteen, seventeen, eighteen, and twenty of the top twenty, all also Chiam guys. Eight of the top twenty ranked talents in the Red Sox minor league system are because of Chaim Bloom. Trust Bloom’s process fan, it’s all going to look very, very nice a lot sooner than later. Not to mention, the 2021 Red Sox are good.
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