It’s been a while since the Red Sox were legitimate contenders in the American League. After missing the playoffs in four of the last five years and finishing last in the AL East three times in the previous four seasons, Boston fans are growing restless.
The team seemed poised to at least make a minor improvement in 2023, but instead will finish the year in the same place it ended 2022 — below .500 and in the basement of the AL East.
Now the team must embark on a pivotal offseason. Not only must the Red Sox find a new head of baseball ops, but they also need to significantly upgrade their roster if they want to compete for a playoff spot in 2024.
It won’t be easy, but it’s possible! Here are three reasons Boston will be a contender next year as well as two reasons why it might not be.
Why Red Sox Will or Won’t Contend in 2024
1. Will Contend: Chaim Bloom isn’t in charge anymore
Over the last four years, the biggest thing holding the Red Sox back was the guy calling the shots. The team was never going to win anything with Chaim Bloom in charge, and that’s why they fired him.
During Bloom’s tenure as Chief Baseball Officer, it became abundantly clear that he wasn’t cut out to be a general manager. He had never run a baseball team before (except maybe in fantasy), and it definitely showed.
Shortly after Bloom took over in late 2019, his first major move was trading a former MVP (Mookie Betts) and Cy Young winner (David Price) away. Um, doesn’t Bloom know that those are the guys you should be trading for? Looking back, we were clearly doomed from the start.
The next four years were marked by a series of baffling moves, poor roster management and a general lack of urgency. Not once in his time at the helm did Bloom put a roster on the field that was anywhere close to championship-caliber. When Boston shockingly made it to the ALCS in 2021 — Bloom’s lone playoff appearance — it was merely a fluke.
Bloom was never going to do what it took to put this team over the top because he clearly didn’t have it in him. He botched countless trade negotiations, contract extensions and free agent signings. When the team had obvious holes, he rarely did anything to address them in the offseason or at the trade deadline. His inability to build a functional roster and course-correct throughout the season was especially damning.
So yeah, firing him was absolutely addition by subtraction. The new head of baseball ops can only be better, especially if they’re actually trying to put a winning team on the field.