It worked out that they lost in the ALCS, and won the ALDS despite being clear underdogs. One more loss in the regular season and they would have been out of the playoffs. They were a very good team (and I thought so at the deadline), but they were not a great team, not as good as any of the Sox Henry-era 4 WS teams. They needed a bit more talent to be great. Being great (2021 LA, SF) doesn't guarantee winning it all of course, but, it increases the odds.
MEANWHILE - there WERE blue chip players on big contracts (all signed pre-Bloom) on the roster. So, the team was a balance of young players, value players, and all-stars being paid ...the question is, with turnover coming and contracts ending after this season, what will Bloom be willing to pay. The proof may or may not be in this year's off season, but it will certainly be in next year's ....
We know this much - so far Bloom has replaced ERod with Paxton/Wacha. If that's the paradigm for how core players will be replaced, it may leave us wanting. We may not be left wanting, I'm not saying I KNOW this or that ... just waiting to see.
The most puzzling thing about your position in this thread is the month in which it is happening. Others have mentioned this.
But the next most puzzling thing: Isn't the example of the 2021 San Francisco Giants a pretty vivid datapoint against
the kinds of signings you're proposing? Go take a spin through that roster and what moves they made during the previous off-season
. Where were the recent bluechip signings on that roster? The biggest deals they gave out in the 20-21 offseason were a 3/$19m deal to superutilityman Tommy La Stella and Kevin Gausman's acceptance of a one-year QO. Two of their starting pitchers were signed as FA with guarantees below $6m.
They hit on those signings, clearly. But the reason that team was great
was that three of their declining veterans, extended long ago by a prior regime, turned into All Star-type players all at once. Getting OPS+es of 160 from Belt, 141 from Crawford, 140 from Posey, and 124 from Longoria were why that team had the best record in baseball. That was a group that you would have forecasted preseason to be worth, what, 6 or 7 WAR all together? Brandon Crawford alone
posted 6 WAR, picking up a meaningful MVP votes, finishing 4th.
It's hard to translate this outcome for the 2022 Red Sox, because we have very few remaining old guys languishing on the roster, but I guess it would be like if we won the pennant because Chris Sale finished near the top of the Cy Young voting, JD Martínez had a 180 OPS+, and Dustin Pedroia came out of retirement to have a good season at 2B. But the point is that Farhan Zaidi didn't build that team by splashing out for big FA targets.