Boston Red Sox will either jump up or jump back in 2022 season

Boston Red Sox (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Boston Red Sox (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox can either jump up or jump back in the 2022 season and it will all depend on how astute the management is in building this team.

The 2021 Red Sox performed well above expectations. Nobody expected anything, and they delivered almost everything. Thank you, Mr. Alex Cora. But this is 2022.

The expectations have been raised dramatically by the 2021 performance, and the fanbase wants there to be a progression. Can Chaim Bloom and his staff deliver? Let’s take a look.

Boston Red Sox mandate is to get better but can they

The Boston Red Sox under Bloom and Alex Cora soared to unthought-of heights in the 2021 MLB season in the American League. Can they sustain or even enhance their position?

That’s the question that every Red Sox fan will be asking. This space is a firm aspirant of the fact that championship teams in any sport are built largely in the offseason.

Many fans pay little attention to this team-building aspect and just wait for the season to make their judgments about the current version of their favorite team.

They are wrong to not pay more attention to this, the most critical aspect of the team’s upcoming season. And frankly, they totally miss the boat.

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In the National Football League, the draft, trades, and free agency are keys. In the National Basketball Association, the same is true. Yet, in MLB, it’s free agency and trades that rule.

The draft delivers little of current use, so the two other aspects of the development process have to take precedence. Teams have to be astute in both or they will fall away in the chase for the title.

Dave Dombroski, a favorite in this space, did what he was hired to do in 2015 as Vice-President of baseball operations, which was to bring another World Series title to Boston. He did so in 2018.

The succeeding season, things did not go well and before a year had passed from lifting the World Series trophy, Dombroski was fired by the impatient and short-of-memory ownership of the team.

On came Chaim Bloom as Chief Baseball Officer. (Parenthetical note: why these business titans can’t deliver a better title for their CEO is beyond the comprehension of this space).

Boston Red Sox Chaim Bloom is under the microscope in 2022

Can Bloom deliver a better product in 2022 than the overachieving 2021 Red Sox? That’s the question of the hour. To date, his pre-lockout moves have been, to be kind, uninspiring.

Trading Hunter Renfroe, who had a seriously good year at bat and in the field (at least in assists) for Boston last season, was traded for Jackie Bradley Jr., a great field, no-hit center fielder, and a couple of prospects.

That trade left this space and others quite cool in their reactions. Bradley hit.163 last season for Milwaukee and carries a $9.5M salary cap hit along with him. The prospects aren’t close.

That was a lousy trade. In addition, assuming that Bloom’s resources have been limited by the cost-conscious Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Red Sox and other teams, he seems to have spent any other allocated money unwisely.

He spent $10M on a pitcher, James Paxton, who may or may not pitch this season after Tommy John surgery. He spent $5M on a 41-year-old pitcher, Rich Hill.

Added to Bradley’s $9.5M, and one has to question whether Mr. Bloom has any conception of cost-effectiveness in his purchases or what makes sense in a baseball context either.

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So, there may still be time if the baseball lockout ends for Mr. Bloom to show exactly how he will endeavor to improve the 2022 Boston Red Sox over the 2021 version.

Unfortunately, to date, it appears that he has weakened the already fairly strong club and failed to strengthen them at all. Mr. Bloom has to be bold after the lockout ends or the team may regress.

We’ll see what eventuates. But up to now, the offseason looks horrendous. It’s up to Mr. Bloom to rectify this situation after the lockout ends or 2022 will be a definite jump back. We’ll see.