So far, it’s been a reasonably tumultuous tenure for Boston Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom in Boston.
The latest edition of the Red Sox off-season saw the Fenway faithful bid adieu to another organizational cornerstone in Xander Bogaerts, and for that, Sox fans have rewarded Chaim Bloom with the hottest seat in professional baseball.
John Henry certainly deserves a large portion of the blame, but Chaim Bloom has carried Henry’s directives of getting money off the books in a horrific fashion.
In 2019, Chaim Bloom inherited a somewhat gutted Red Sox organization, left depleted by the championship efforts of Dave Dombrowski. One thing he did acquire was a very solid major league roster, a year removed from a World Series title, propped up by some of the best collection of homegrown talent the Sox have seen on the 25-man roster in quite some time. But recent moves have many questioning the overall plan for the organization.
Boston Red Sox and the Mookie Betts Disaster
And this is where the frustration begins.
The conversations seemed endless at each of these crossroads when extending a Red Sox homegrown star was the talk of the town.
At first, it felt crazy to not extend Mookie Betts, one of the most exciting players in recent memory to come through the Sox system that all of New England watched blossom into one of the best Red Sox outfielders of all time and quite possibly the greatest defensive right fielder in the nearly 150-year history of professional baseball. Letting him take his perennial MVP talents to another city felt impossible until it didn’t.
When it seemed inevitable that Mookie would not extend in Boston long-term, but that never happened. And not only did it not happen, it almost seemed like Chaim went out of his way to make it not happen.
Yes, the Sox got Alex Verdugo, and he’s extremely easy to root for. Alex is an absolute gamer, a dirt dog by every definition, and an excellent fit for Boston. Should he be the cornerstone for a trade involving Mookie Betts?
Only if there is a fishnet of top-tier system prospects coming behind him. Jeter Downs never once looked like an MLB-caliber bat, never. Connor Wong could work his way into being a serviceable major league catcher with above-average defensive skills and the ability to consistently put the bat on the ball.
But what the Red Sox desperately needed in that deal for Mookie was the return of electric, major-league arms. While Tony Gonsolin was out of reach, both the Twins and the Dodgers had elite arms that could have made their way to Boston had Bloom forced the issue.
What Bloom did regarding Brusdar Graterol was insanely frustrating. As a part of this three-team deal, the Twins were sending Graterol to Boston. At the time, this was a 21-year-old relief pitcher with an absolutely electric power sinker that topped out at over 100-MPH.
The videos on him at the time were silly. He handcuffed hitter after hitter with a menacing combo of movement and velocity. But Chaim and the Sox didn’t like what they saw in Graterol’s medical history when it was discovered he had undergone Tommy John surgery in 2016. Chaim shut it down, and Andrew Friedman, being the shark he is, reworked the deal and brought Graterol to LA.
Last year Graterol logged 49.2 innings out of the Dodgers pen posting a 3.26 ERA and a sub-1.00 WHIP while tallying 43 strikeouts to just 10 walks. He also finished the season with four saves and 10 holds in 46 games for the Dodgers, while Sox fans watched a mismatched disaster of a bullpen blow middle and late game leads all year long.
How do those medicals look now, Bloom?