Baseball

2022 Red Sox: Sustainable Winning

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Still, to this date, even after a bid to the American League Championship series, some fans of the Boston Red Sox believe that ownership is cheap and that Chaim Bloom has no clue what he is doing. The fact of that matter is that both narratives are, for lack of a better word, dumb. The Red Sox payroll is always near the top every season, and quite frankly it does not matter what other team John Henry is purchasing, the Red Sox, as an organization spends money. John Henry is not cheap, the man has bankrolled four World Series Championships, and yet, fans still whine and moan. At the end of the day, ownership and Chaim Bloom will probably never win over the small subset of fans that froth at the mouth and scream at an obnoxious, ear-piercing octave into the void of Twitter nothingness. Chaim Bloom does not care that you want him to spend as you do in MLB: The Show. Chaim Bloom was hired to take the Red Sox into the next level of sustainable winning, and that’s exactly what he is doing.

The Process

Chaim Bloom has spoken countless times about the process of building sustainable winning. Sustainable winning does not mean signing every sign free agent on the market, what it means, truthfully, is spending wisely. Chaim Bloom signed Enrique Hernández last offseason to a two-year deal worth $14M. Kiké did not just perform at a high level, he was arguable the best overall Red Sox player in 2021, finishing with a 4.9 rWAR, while playing elite center field and second base defense, running the bases, and having a career year offensively in his first season as an everyday player. The 2021 Red Sox do not make the ALCS without Kiké Hernández. Chaim Bloom made a smart, cost-effective signing with Hernández, it was not a flashy, multi-year, mega-contract, it was playing the game in a smart and strategic way.

Andrew Friedman, Chaim’s old boss in Tampa Bay, and now the head of baseball operations in Los Angeles did not give out a major deal until 2020, when he extended Mookie Betts, after the trade with the Red Sox, to a 12/$365M. Friedman spent money conservatively up until this point, and when he got the guy he wanted, he spent the money. Chaim Bloom is obviously looking to follow a similar pattern. When Chaim wants his guy, he will get his guy, and he will spend money. This simply is not Tampa North, nor was Los Angeles Tampa West. Bloom and Friedman are two men that know more about the nature of the beast of baseball operations than any fan could, and they should be trusted.

Everyone Makes Mistakes

No, Chaim Bloom is not perfect. Theo Epstein was not perfect. Ben Cherington was not perfect. Dave Dombrowski was not perfect. Red Sox fans tend to give a pass once a World Series ring is bestowed the following Opening Day, that has yet to happen for Chaim. Let us please not forget how much building Bloom has had to do already, and how much better the organization is, as a whole, from when he took over a little over two years ago. Marwin Gonzalez, Matt Andriese, Garrett Richards, Martín Pérez, were not the best signings, but they could be understood. Kiké Hernández and Hunter Renfroe proved to be invaluable low risk, high reward signings.

Bloom will make more mistakes, but the truth of the matter is if the mistakes seemingly had value, and made sense and if the good outweighs the bad, and at this point, the good sure had outweighed. The offseason moves and the addition of Kyle Schwarber, even through all the scrutiny proved to be perfect matches for the Red Sox, matches that took them game six of the 2021 American League Championship series.

The Championship Window

The Red Sox, in actuality, have not even hit their championship window. The 2021 season was nice, and it was special, but it was an overachievement. The 2022 Red Sox team will be good, and there are plenty of men on the free-agent market that can help them be even better but do not be surprised if a major name does not call Fenway home in 2022, and honestly, there is nothing wrong with that.

Spending an inordinate amount of money when a team has not begun a championship window is honestly unreasonable. Spend, trade, go crazy on a team primed to win it all, 2018 was a great example of that, 2020 and 2021, and even 2022 are not examples of that. In order to build you need to spend wisely and understand what prospects are valuable to the team, and what players are valuable to bring in win-now talent. Trading for Chris Sale, at the time when the Red Sox did, with team control, made sense, making that type of trade this past trade deadline would not have made sense for the direction Chaim Bloom is taking the organization.

Come 2023, the Red Sox should be in a nice window to go for it, and not just go for it for one year, but rather, be primed to battle year in, and year out for multiple championships. Come now Red Sox fans, 2020 would have been worth it if the Red Sox turn into the Dodgers 2.0, right? I think you know that answer. Sit back, relax, enjoy watching competitive baseball from your favorite baseball team, trust the process, and reap the eventual reward.

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main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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