BOSTON – As the World Series matchup between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals continues, the Boston Red Sox continue to dive deeper into the off-season, retooling the team as needed. With a flurry of coaching decisions already out of the way, it was time for Boston to address the gaps in their front office.
After dismissing Dave Dombrowski, one of the major leaders of Boston's 2018 World Series championship, back during the regular season, the Red Sox ownership group made the decision to hire Chaim Bloom as the new chief baseball officer of the franchise. Bloom joins a twenty-first century lineage, which includes title-winning executives like Theo Epstein, Ben Cherington, and Dombrowski. It's safe to say that expectations are high for Bloom.
Bloom recognized this, as well, citing it as a positive because it forces everyone to work harder. As one of the former executives of the Tampa Bay Rays, this is something Bloom knows how to do. Tampa Bay's spending capabilities are much slimmer than Boston's and, as such, it forced Bloom to be wily when making decisions. Ultimately, however, it led to multiple contending seasons and a playoff berth in 2019 for the Rays.
While this shows that Bloom can be a whip-smart executive, it is indicative of something larger to me. I think Bloom was hired because of his ability to be shrewd with his funds, as well. I think the Red Sox owners are all in on the idea of perennially coming in underneath the luxury tax in baseball; they want the team to start operating with more fiscal responsibility. On the one hand, I get it because the team has been nearly drowned by egregiously massive contracts in the past. On the other hand, they do not need to act like they are not a big market team. It's been proven to be worthwhile to embrace the long arms of Boston's resources in the past. The Bloom hiring definitely makes my hope to retain both Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez dwindle, though.
One decision that I did like was made fairly quickly, however, as Bloom promoted assistant general manager Brian O'Halloran to the full-time GM of the Sox. O'Halloran has been involved with many great moments of the years and has been thoroughly embraced by players both past and present.
Regarding the decision and O'Halloran's skill set, Bloom said, "He leads selflessly and without ego, and the good of the Red Sox is his highest priority. In that regard and so many others, he is a model for everyone here, and that I can now work closely with him is a privilege."
It's going to be a busy off-season for the Red Sox. And it starts here with Bloom and O'Halloran.