Red Sox make scouting department cuts

Scoops Bolling

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The Boston #Redsox become the latest major market team to make massive cuts and layoffs to their scouting and development people, with some of the best in the business let go today. Awful times
View: https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/1301937454568501248
I'm not hugely surprised, but that has more to do with the failure of the scouting and development staff to develop talent the last few years. Here's hoping Chaim is able to pull some of the talent out of Tampa (and LA) and get the player development machine rolling again.
 

Salem's Lot

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Penny wise and pound foolish from ownership. If retaining these people results in finding even one impact pre-arb player that pays for itself.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I am starting to wonder if JWH's financial position is actually precarious. While every business owner likes to save money, the timing of these cuts and the spot were the cuts are being made almost indicates a financial crisis.
 

RedOctober3829

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I am starting to wonder if JWH's financial position is actually precarious. While every business owner likes to save money, the timing of these cuts and the spot were the cuts are being made almost indicates a financial crisis.
These types of moves are happening all over baseball. The Yankees have done the same thing among others. It does not make it any less frustrating that the scouts are getting shafted.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Are you "wondering" that because you want it to be true, because you don't want to look it up and find out it's not true, or both?
I am wondering because between the massive cuts mentioned today plus the seeming rush to get below the threshold, there are indications that suddenly money is a big concern for ownership.

These concerns were not readily apparent when the team handed $168 million to Sale and 68 million to Eovaldi. Something has seemingly changed. While other teams have done it the timing seems abrupt.
 

OurF'ingCity

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They are announcing cuts and layoffs, not performance related firings. That tells me it’s all to save a few bucks.
Why can't it be both? Presumably they didn't just randomly pick which scouts to fire - there had to have been some performance-related aspects to it as well, or at least areas where Bloom saw bloat or thought scouts might be less necessary.

As for the Red Sox's larger financial condition - let me know when the Sox do a cost-cutting move the Yankees haven't already done. Until then, there's no evidence that the Red Sox/Henry are facing financial issues unique to them as opposed to being league-wide.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I have no idea whether JWH’s businesses are doing well or not. I do think drawing conclusions about that without looking at what other teams are doing is pretty shaky.

The performance of the scouting department the last few years certainly does not suggest status quo is the right choice. We’re just left to hope that is the reason, not penny-pinching.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Let's bare in mind that "some of the best in the business" could range from the guy who convinced the Sox to sign X and Devers to the guy who Nightingale likes to play 18 with in Fort Meyers. There certainly hasn't been a lot to demonstrate "the best in the business" from our development process lately.
 

Max Power

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What exactly are scouts doing these days? There isn't much baseball being played anywhere in the world, so it's not like they're out trying to find new talent now. It's sad for these guys to lose their income when they're such a small percentage of the organization's budget, but it doesn't seem like the Red Sox want to keep this particular set of scouts together once games start up again.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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By how well his stable of ownerships are doing.
I will let the experts weigh in here, but Liverpool don't appear to be spending money this summer even though they won the league this year and the Champions League last summer. Now that may well be due to COVID, future wages to players on the team, and renovations to Anfield. And since they've had to suspend season tickets due to the uncertainly of letting fans into the stadium, their financial situation may be completely up in the air right now.
 

DJnVa

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Does anyone really find it strange that businesses are cutting costs right now? Why would the Red Sox be immune?
 

Gdiguy

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Does anyone really find it strange that businesses are cutting costs right now? Why would the Red Sox be immune?
Well primarily because sports teams until recently haven't really been run as 'businesses'; when they were running massive profits, the argument was 'well, we have to keep spending below the luxury tax, because it's very punitive and also we lose draft picks'. Spending on scouting is an area that is outside of both of those - so it's one of the few areas where a big-market team can still gain a significant advantage by spending more $ than other teams could.

If Henry is struggling money-wise then it makes sense, but if not then it seems like right now would be a great time for a big-market team to increase scouting spending and poach the best people from other teams, not to wipe out their staff
 

jon abbey

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I'm not sure a vague tweet from the always wrong Bob Nightengale is the best place to draw conclusions from. I'm sure that the Sox are laying off scouts but so are most teams as mentioned and the ones that are not have probably already done so in the past so they don't have too many left. Not only is there pretty much nothing for anyone to scout from now until March but it's unclear if fans will be allowed back for the first part of 2021 which will impact club's finances even more.
 

VORP Speed

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Do you think that with the ubiquity of high quality video at all levels of play and rapid increase of statcast/trackman type analytics for amateur players, that a scouting department should look the same today as it did 10 years ago?
 

E5 Yaz

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The entire scouting/development dynamic is shifting because of the shutdown. Combine what these teams are doing, the potential lack of a full college baseball season, and the affiliate-deletion restructuring of the minor leagues, this actually seems like an appropriate (and cold-heartedted) time for organizations to wipe the slate clear and implement a plan to move forward.

Nothing in this announcement says that these jobs (or somethingsimilar) won't be part of any team's newly imagined organization, perhaps even filled by the same people let go by their teams. The business model is in flux and the only thing clear is that, when things eventually settle down, it's not going to look the way it did pre-upheaval. Nor should it.
 

bankshot1

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Being wholly uninformed on this matter, I've two thoughts somewhat unrelated

1-After being on the job for awhile Chaim is wholly unimpressed with this part of the Sox infrastructure and will address it with people he scouts and brings in.
2-JWH is cutting costs as he sees revenue issues and covid issues extending into 2021
 

YTF

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Like most other moves the Sox make, I'm willing to wait until the dust settles. One of the biggest complaints about this team is a lack of top talent coming up through the farm system, especially pitching prospects.
 

54thMA

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Not only is there pretty much nothing for anyone to scout from now until March but it's unclear if fans will be allowed back for the first part of 2021 which will impact club's finances even more.
This.

COVID is still going to be an issue next Spring from everything I've seen and read.

Back in March I recall a discussion on the radio about how COVID is going to impact sports/concerts/fans and concert goers being in stadiums and venues and when asked "So in your opinion, when will we see fans back in the stands at sporting events/concerts in venues with concert goers in attendance?", the reply was "I'm fairly confident we'll see it in the Fall"..........so the interviewer said "Oh great, that's not bad, so in about 6 months then?" and the reply was "No; the Fall of 2021"................
 

scottyno

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I am wondering because between the massive cuts mentioned today plus the seeming rush to get below the threshold, there are indications that suddenly money is a big concern for ownership.

These concerns were not readily apparent when the team handed $168 million to Sale and 68 million to Eovaldi. Something has seemingly changed. While other teams have done it the timing seems abrupt.
The team underperformed in 2019. You could make a case for damn the luxury tax lets try to win another with the current core after 2018, after 2019 it was a much harder case to make.
 

bigq

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The entire scouting/development dynamic is shifting because of the shutdown. Combine what these teams are doing, the potential lack of a full college baseball season, and the affiliate-deletion restructuring of the minor leagues, this actually seems like an appropriate (and cold-heartedted) time for organizations to wipe the slate clear and implement a plan to move forward.

Nothing in this announcement says that these jobs (or somethingsimilar) won't be part of any team's newly imagined organization, perhaps even filled by the same people let go by their teams. The business model is in flux and the only thing clear is that, when things eventually settle down, it's not going to look the way it did pre-upheaval. Nor should it.
I think this is exactly right. Baseball teams need to change the way they operate in a new business environment. The way things are done in the future is going to be different than the traditional way things have generally been done. The fact that a variety of teams are taking similar steps indicates this is becoming a more obvious reality. It sucks for the scouts and frankly my heart goes out to them and their families but this move is not entirely out of the blue or unexpected.
 

Earthbound64

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I'm not sure a vague tweet from the always wrong Bob Nightengale is the best place to draw conclusions from. I'm sure that the Sox are laying off scouts but so are most teams as mentioned and the ones that are not have probably already done so in the past so they don't have too many left. Not only is there pretty much nothing for anyone to scout from now until March but it's unclear if fans will be allowed back for the first part of 2021 which will impact club's finances even more.
"Making massive cuts" gets the Twitter conversation going, though.
 

grimshaw

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Keep in mind too that there will be 40 fewer minor league affiliates and 20 fewer rounds of the amateur draft going forward. Yes they are only saving relative peanuts, but scaling back is logical.
 
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I'm sure this will help the ballclub improve for 2021....
I’ve yet to see them do anything to improve, only detract. Unless you count the Mitch trade, which netted two minor leaguers and removed all doubt as to who is the worst team in franchise history. If one of those guys pans out, it was a success.
 

Mantush

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I understand not wanting our personnel gutted just for the sake of gutting it, but I can't recall anyone from the 2016 drafts onward that has made an appreciative impact on the big league club either through actual on-field contributions or in trade. I won't pretend to be as knowledgeable as some of you on this topic, but it's probably a good thing that Chaim is purging a lot of the Dombrowski era scouts. I'd feel a lot better if we had Nate Pearson instead of Tanner Houck just as a quick example.
 

Jimbodandy

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Don’t tell this to @Smiling Joe Hesketh . He continues to believe that, despite the cold stone fact this ownership group has out spent everyone for a decade, this owernership group refuses to spend money.

It is infecting every single main board thread and it’s really tiring.
Hey, four championships in 18 years of ownership doesn't buy as much gravitas as it used to, especially after 86 years of whiffs.

So let's speculate that these cats are broke, rather than laying off scouts when there's nothing to scout and player development guys when there's almost no players to develop.