It has been a brutal past ten weeks for Red Sox fans.
Dave Dombrowski, former president of baseball operations, parted ways with the Red Sox after losing to the Yankees and dropping Boston’s overall record to 76-67. On Oct. 25, 2019, the organization hired 36-year-old Chaim Bloom to replace Dombrowski. Bloom joined the Red Sox with the intention to reduce payroll and keep the team below the luxury tax while also winning.
After failing to make the playoffs, talks of all-star world champion and fan-favorite Brock Holt’s free agency began. Holt officially became a free agent in Oct. 2019. He began the first two months of the season on the injured list with a shoulder impingement, and also missed games because his son, Griff Holt, scratched his cornea. After appearing in only 87 games, Holt’s season did not amount to his 2018 season, when he hit the first postseason cycle in MLB history. As of Feb.15, the All-Star is still up for assignment.
Offseason sadness escalated when illegal sign-stealing reports came out against the 2017 World Champion Astros and later the 2018 World Champion Red Sox. Red Sox general manager Alex Cora coached for the Astros in 2017 team and managed the Red Sox in 2018. On Jan. 14, Cora and owner John Henry mutually agreed to part ways.
Bloom named bench coach Ron Roenicke as interim general manager on Feb. 11, the first day of spring training.
Throughout the offseason, talks of the Dodgers and Padres acquiring Mookie Betts repeated over and over. Bloom’s hire in Oct. 2019 focused on cutting salary spending, but they did not want to let go of Betts. The four-time all-star and American League MVP asked for $100 million more than what the Red Sox wanted to pay, and the organization lost out. On Feb. 9, both the Dodgers and Red Sox officially announced the trade of Mookie Betts and David Price.
Throughout it all, the team has been under investigation for electronic sign stealing. There is no date for when the organization will release a statement.
Pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training, which is on its way at JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida.
John Henry made the right choice in hiring Bloom. With the Rays, he consistently produced a competitive and winning team at low costs. The Sox have a history of going over the tax line. Even though the team is a multi-billion dollar organization, owners are worried about money. They also want to keep a winning team. Bloom offers both of these in hopes of preserving the historic value of the organization.
Not resigning Holt would be a mistake. For somewhere around $4 million, the organization keeps a fantastic utility player, a hype man, and a player who wants to play in Boston. If they lose two fan favorites the same offseason, they risk significant backlash from fans and critics alike.
Bloom faced the impossible task of managing the free agencies of the team’s most valuable and loved players. Although fans are mad, and the organization is feeling their wrath following Betts’ departure, Bloom made the best possible choice for the organization by reducing salaries this year to open up money for 2021. Betts wants to be in Boston, and as the second-best player in the MLB behind Mike Trout, he deserves to have a Trout salary. But Boston could not give him that right now. Though it is unlikely, there is a possibility at the end of the 2020 season, when the money opens up, and Betts is a free agent again, he could return to Boston.
2020 will be a season of accommodating, letting go, and hopefully, winning. This team is good, and people need to remember that despite all the change.