4. Staying Over the Luxury Tax
Speaking of terrible trade deadlines, let’s revisit the 2022 one, shall we?
Whereas Bloom was criticized for doing nothing in 2023, perhaps that was his reaction to trying to do too much in 2022, when he attempted to be a buyer and a seller at the same time.
Boston entered the 2022 trade deadline in a similar situation, albeit a much more precarious one. The team was coming off of a horrendous July when seemingly the entire roster got hurt and was plummeting out of the playoff race. Bloom either needed to add serious reinforcements at the deadline, or punt on the season and unload his pricey veterans, namely J.D. Martinez, Nate Eovaldi and Xander Bogaerts (more on him in a minute).
Instead, Bloom tried to do a bit of both. He traded away beloved catcher and team leader Christian Vazquez to the rival Houston Astros on the eve of the trade deadline, seriously disrupting the clubhouse. Then he pivoted the following day, acquiring declining veterans Eric Hosmer and Tommy Pham to bolster the lineup.
The moves didn’t pan out, and Boston ended up finishing last in the AL East. Martinez, Eovaldi and Bogaerts all departed in free agency, as did Rich Hill and Michael Wacha.
But worst of all, Bloom failed to get the team’s payroll under the luxury tax threshold at the trade deadline, forcing ownership (a.k.a. his bosses) to pay additional money for his last-place team. Going over the tax also meant worse compensation draft picks for Boston on the free agents that left, harming the team’s 2023 draft position.
So yeah, ownership probably wasn’t too happy about that one.