The Red Sox have fired Chaim Bloom

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
22,339
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Right, it's like there is a significant portion of SoSH that is ok with more or less throwing away the last 4 years of our lives in exchange for mediocre baseball and an if-you-squint chance of being good in 2024 or 2025? If they weren't going to truly contend for the last 4 years, they should have tanked much harder. I don't care that they've been ~.500 the last two years, that's not interesting to me, I'd rather be ~.400 and hoarding prospects and picks and trading the likes of Sale, Paxton, JDM, Duvall, Verdugo, etc.
The 60 game 2020 shouldn't really be counted. And, as mentioned upthread, 2021 was a pretty great run.

Thought experiment: what happens if either 2022 wasn't tanked by injuries or if 2023 had come together, and so, just one of those years brought us deep into the ALCS again?

I think most folks are OK with a couple of competitive runs while the club overall grows stronger and younger (with better prospects on the way.)
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

has big, douchey shoulders
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Not just cost controlled players- you really need cost controlled pitching. The high end FA pitching marketplace is expensive and incredibly risky- the less money you have to invest in it, the better. Freddie Freeman and Carlos Rodon got pretty similar deals, after all.

If you have to get multiple pitchers from FA every year, it makes things really challenging.
That's probably true, but listing those two players is a bit selective. Xander got $280 million and Correa $200M this off-season as well. Even Baez got $140M. Big ticket free agent signings are incredibly risky at every position.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
35,152
Hingham, MA
The 60 game 2020 shouldn't really be counted. And, as mentioned upthread, 2021 was a pretty great run.

Thought experiment: what happens if either 2022 wasn't tanked by injuries or if 2023 had come together, and so, just one of those years brought us deep into the ALCS again?

I think most folks are OK with a couple of competitive runs while the club overall grows stronger and younger (with better prospects on the way.)
He certainly wouldn't have been fired.

But would the team look the same? I.e., would it be the same personnel and issues? Bad baserunning, bad defense, too many DHs, etc. While if things broke better they might have lucked into another postseason run in 2022 or 2023, they still aren't a well-constructed, functioning, disciplined, fundamentally sound team. Their .500 record the last two years is all the more frustrating to me because they are so incredibly painful to watch at times. It feels like if they cleaned some stuff up they could be a 90 win team; that they SHOULD be a 90 win team. I'd much rather watch a team that doesn't shoot itself in the foot every night.

And just like I made the comparison upthread to the 2020-2023 Patriots, this is another area where they've been very similar. The recent Pats have consistently made the little mistakes that they so often avoided and capitalized on from the other team from 2001-2018.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
69,431
It will be interesting to see what the payroll is coming in to next season. If they aren't right around $270m, it's pretty clear that in large part the owners are in fact checked out & cheap. I've never really believed in that narrative, though.
Lots of respect for your perspective but I think too much attention is given to how much a team spends on salary, and spending money just because you can can easily be as disastrous as not spending, even more so. There are 20+ fan bases out there now who want their owners to spend hundreds of millions on Yamamoto, but he’s not a sure thing to be great going forward, no one is.
 

JM3

often quoted
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
12,989
Lots of respect for your perspective but I think too much attention is given to how much a team spends on salary, and spending money just because you can can easily be as disastrous as not spending, even more so. There are 20+ fan bases out there now who want their owners to spend hundreds of millions on Yamamoto, but he’s not a sure thing to be great going forward, no one is.
I'm not sure what that has to do with my point. They could choose to spend it all on 1-year guys if they want. They could eat other teams' bad salaries to accrue prospects. There are definitely discussions to be had about philosophy & optimal payroll allocation. But as long as they are under $277m next year, the only punishment is financial.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
It will be interesting to see what the payroll is coming in to next season. If they aren't right around $270m, it's pretty clear that in large part the owners are in fact checked out & cheap. I've never really believed in that narrative, though.
I think that they should definitely be closer to the top of the pack than the middle, but depending on how they spend heading into the season, I'm more than OK with them having some cash available for in season acquisitions as that has been an issue with this team.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
69,431
I'm not sure what that has to do with my point. They could choose to spend it all on 1-year guys if they want. They could eat other team's bad salaries to accrue prospects. There are definitely discussions to be had about philosophy & optimal payroll allocation. But as long as they are under $277m next year, the only punishment is financial.
That’s not really true, for instance signing guys to 1/8 or 1/10 deals means you’re filling a roster spot with a player who can’t be optioned, hurting your roster flexibility. That’s not a punishment but it can impact a team adversely. One reason for BAL and TB’s success is fewer guaranteed contracts/guaranteed roster spots, guys perform or they’re replaced.
 

JM3

often quoted
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
12,989
I think that they should definitely be closer to the top of the pack than the middle, but depending on how they spend heading into the season, I'm more than OK with them having some cash available for in season acquisitions as that has been an issue with this team.
Yeah, I left them a $7m buffer, but they can have a bit more if they want. It will actually probably be a bit lower than that due to the way a lot of contracts are structured with playing time incentives.

The principal is they should be willing to spend right up to that line & treat it the way they treated the tax threshold this year (the punishment for going over is having your 1st pick drop 10 slots).
 

JM3

often quoted
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
12,989
That’s not really true, for instance signing guys to 1/8 or 1/10 deals means you’re filling a roster spot with a player who can’t be optioned, hurting your roster flexibility. That’s not a punishment but it can impact a team adversely. One reason for BAL and TB’s success is fewer guaranteed contracts/guaranteed roster spots, guys perform or they’re replaced.
That's definitely not the type of player they should be adding, no. That's what they've been forced to do the last few years while straddling the tax line.

I think there are smart ways to add $80m to your payroll this off season, though.

Like for example, even if you think it's optimal to only add about $40m of net payroll from acquisitions, how about some extensions for Bello & Casas? How about we eat some money to get better prospects if we trade away Sale or Yoshida for example?

Spending for the sake of spending is dumb, but I think there are really smart ways to use your financial resources.
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
10,710
around the way
Right, it's like there is a significant portion of SoSH that is ok with more or less throwing away the last 4 years of our lives in exchange for mediocre baseball and an if-you-squint chance of being good in 2024 or 2025? If they weren't going to truly contend for the last 4 years, they should have tanked much harder. I don't care that they've been ~.500 the last two years, that's not interesting to me, I'd rather be ~.400 and hoarding prospects and picks and trading the likes of Sale, Paxton, JDM, Duvall, Verdugo, etc.
I get that the impression of "not having a plan" while they were trying to achieve multiple goals of remaining competitive, rebuilding a barren farm, and resetting the tax to avoid punishment. And it's reinforced with not being either a buyer or a fireseller. I've had this conversation with some pretty smart people. You're a seller or a buyer. You either shoot the moon or throw everything overboard that's not tied down. I just think that it's pretty myopic. After the first round getting pick #7 vs. pick #15 really doesn't mean anything. Frankly even in the first round it doesn't really. And as far as hosing the deadlines, do we really think that this team would be way better off with a few more AAAA 25yo outfielders that some other team was fine to part with to solve their own 40-man logjam? Is that where Bloom fell down, or is that just another talking point? Doesn't really seem material to me.

This team's mediocrity the last two years in particular is a perfectly good reason to can the GM for someone else. We don't need to invent more. The new GM already has a 40-man problem and enough Dalbecs to weed through.

It will be interesting to see what the payroll is coming in to next season. If they aren't right around $270m, it's pretty clear that in large part the owners are in fact checked out & cheap. I've never really believed in that narrative, though.
You'd think listening to talk radio that this ownership group hasn't spent money.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
4,113
That's definitely not the type of player they should be adding, no. That's what they've been forced to do the last few years while straddling the tax line.

I think there are smart ways to add $80m to your payroll this off season, though.

Like for example, even if you think it's optimal to only add about $40m of net payroll from acquisitions, how about some extensions for Bello & Casas? How about we eat some money to get better prospects if we trade away Sale or Yoshida for example?

Spending for the sake of spending is dumb, but I think there are really smart ways to use your financial resources.
I've harped on this a bunch, but I think there's too much attention paid to the one-year acquisitions as though they're supposed to be primary solutions. They're not just that. They're placeholders for young players we want to acclimate at the major league level.

The JBJ trade, for example. People persist in thinking that JBJ was the true target. In reality, it seems much likelier to me that the plan was for Duran—who a lot of people were extremely excited by in 2021—to come up in by June, pushing Kiké to right field and JBJ to a fourth outfielder role. You can't execute that plan if Renfroe is on the team. Did it work? No. Kiké got hurt, others did too, JBJ didn't rebound and Duran wasn't ready.

It seems extremely hard to know when to turn a position over to a young player, especially for big market teams. Miguel Vargas couldn't do it in Los Angeles. Clint Frazier couldn't in New York. Dalbec couldn't hack it. Duran couldn't either—and then, through a series of unfortunate accidents, got another chance and did.
 

JM3

often quoted
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
12,989
And as far as hosing the deadlines, do we really think that this team would be way better off with a few more AAAA 25yo outfielders that some other team was fine to part with to solve their own 40-man logjam?
No... but they could have added some more young flyer pitchers.

Why make me report on the Nate Telliers of the world?
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
10,710
around the way
No... but they could have added some more young flyer pitchers.

Why make me report on the Nate Telliers of the world?
Yeah I suppose that an argument can be made for adding a bunch of AAAA pitches to the pile and getting a jump on AAAA position player DFAs wouldn't hurt. Hit rate being low anyway, more is better. But is that the reason why anyone should look askance at Bloom?

I take zero issue with anyone who thinks that enough is enough of .500 finishes. But is "needed more flotsam" this year the problem?
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
46,170
I've harped on this a bunch, but I think there's too much attention paid to the one-year acquisitions as though they're supposed to be primary solutions. They're not just that. They're placeholders for young players we want to acclimate at the major league level.

The JBJ trade, for example. People persist in thinking that JBJ was the true target. In reality, it seems much likelier to me that the plan was for Duran—who a lot of people were extremely excited by in 2021—to come up in by June, pushing Kiké to right field and JBJ to a fourth outfielder role. You can't execute that plan if Renfroe is on the team. Did it work? No. Kiké got hurt, others did too, JBJ didn't rebound and Duran wasn't ready.

It seems extremely hard to know when to turn a position over to a young player, especially for big market teams. Miguel Vargas couldn't do it in Los Angeles. Clint Frazier couldn't in New York. Dalbec couldn't hack it. Duran couldn't either—and then, through a series of unfortunate accidents, got another chance and did.
Who are the people who thought JBJ was the target of that trade? If there are any, they’re in the minority, at least on this board. Most everyone here knew that was a buy prospects move while hoping to squeeze a little productivity out of JBJ.
 

JM3

often quoted
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
12,989
Yeah I suppose that an argument can be made for adding a bunch of AAAA pitches to the pile and getting a jump on AAAA position player DFAs wouldn't hurt. Hit rate being low anyway, more is better. But is that the reason why anyone should look askance at Bloom?

I take zero issue with anyone who thinks that enough is enough of .500 finishes. But is "needed more flotsam" this year the problem?
No, my personal entertainment when writing about Greenville's 15th best pitcher is not his job lol

Sorry, I've made all the serious posts on the subject I have in me. I'm ready to move on to the new guys & hope the hires are inspired.
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
10,710
around the way
No, my personal entertainment when writing about Greenville's 15th best pitcher is not his job lol

Sorry, I've made all the serious posts on the subject I have in me. I'm ready to move on to the new guys & hope the hires are inspired.
Haha. The funny part is that it really is your job, since most of the break glass, low ceiling guys aren't in the conversation or in the top 20 prospects any more. Everyone wants to talk about Roman or Yordanny. We need you on that wall.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
35,152
Hingham, MA
Who are the people who thought JBJ was the target of that trade? If there are any, they’re in the minority, at least on this board. Most everyone here knew that was a buy prospects move while hoping to squeeze a little productivity out of JBJ.
Yeah I just went back and read that thread. Most posters were gaga over the trade because the Sox took on salary for better prospects. A few posters hated it because a) they were mediocre prospects from a bad system and b) fear of JBJ. Those posters were right on basically both points. You could argue the JBJ $ piece directly led to not being able to get under the cap in 2022. So it was really a triple whammy of bad: bad performance from JBJ, prospects that won’t pan out, and financial implications. Ugh.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
3,561
It will be interesting to see what the payroll is coming in to next season. If they aren't right around $270m, it's pretty clear that in large part the owners are in fact checked out & cheap. I've never really believed in that narrative, though.
So many of the post-Bloom media takes have been "Henry refuses to spend!" that it makes me feel like I'm missing something, because I look at the full Bloom era and can't see a time when it would have made any sense to do so. I feel like they've been planning on opening up the wallet for this winter's FA pitching crop for years now. So I agree, if they cheap out now then the ownership criticisms are 100% valid, but until then they feel awfully premature to me.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
29,505
Building a perennial contender is extraordinarily difficult no matter what method one tries.

One of my frustrations here the last couple years is trying to engage with folks who seem to think there’s “one true way” to build a strong franchise.

There’s not. One can get to a good outcome through various paths. But ALL paths are difficult.
There isn't one "true" way to build a contender but I have to make two points:

(1) Once a team picks a path it pretty much throws out almost all (all?) of the other paths and
(2) IMO tanking has the better chance of succeeding than every other way - even if a few teams haven't made it work.

Because in addition to the super premium draft picks . . .

It seems extremely hard to know when to turn a position over to a young player, especially for big market teams. Miguel Vargas couldn't do it in Los Angeles. Clint Frazier couldn't in New York. Dalbec couldn't hack it. Duran couldn't either—and then, through a series of unfortunate accidents, got another chance and did.
. . . one of the great benefits of tanking is that a team can play guys like Duran or Santander day-after-day to figure out if they have major league ability without consequence.

I mean take the JBJ trade. A tanking team can take on JBJ's salary, put Duran in center, play JBJ sporadically and see if Duran can make it. And if by playing JBJ on a part-time basis, the team can rehabilitate his value, they can then spin-off JBJ for even more prospects.

People keep saying that tanking isn't a great way to go because it's hard to hit on draft picks. Well if it's hard to hit on draft picks when picking 1-5, how much harder is it to hit on draft picks when picking 10-15 - particularly when great teams are defined by super premium players, not just above-average talent?
 

8slim

has trust issues
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
23,860
Unreal America
Hard to buy that one either. Why would the Rangers want that out there with how things with Sale played out?
There’s no such thing as “the Rangers”. The team didn’t put out a press release through their PR department.

There’s a guy in their front office who told someone about what went down. Who knows what that guy’s motivation was. Maybe he’s angling for a promotion and wants to throw shade at someone above him? Maybe he just likes feeling important and talks to reporters?
 

JM3

often quoted
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
12,989
Haha. The funny part is that it really is your job, since most of the break glass, low ceiling guys aren't in the conversation or in the top 20 prospects any more. Everyone wants to talk about Roman or Yordanny. We need you on that wall.
I will retire real quick if the guys like Nate Tellier & Aaron Perry ever make it into my top 200.

I enjoy talking about the guys with at least some upside, even if 95% of them never will make it.
 

8slim

has trust issues
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
23,860
Unreal America
There isn't one "true" way to build a contender but I have to make two points:

(1) Once a team picks a path it pretty much throws out almost all (all?) of the other paths and
(2) IMO tanking has the better chance of succeeding than every other way - even if a few teams haven't made it work.

Because in addition to the super premium draft picks . . .


. . . one of the great benefits of tanking is that a team can play guys like Duran or Santander day-after-day to figure out if they have major league ability without consequence.

I mean take the JBJ trade. A tanking team can take on JBJ's salary, put Duran in center, play JBJ sporadically and see if Duran can make it. And if by playing JBJ on a part-time basis, the team can rehabilitate his value, they can then spin-off JBJ for even more prospects.

People keep saying that tanking isn't a great way to go because it's hard to hit on draft picks. Well if it's hard to hit on draft picks when picking 1-5, how much harder is it to hit on draft picks when picking 10-15 - particularly when great teams are defined by super premium players, not just above-average talent?
I’d be curious to know how many teams have, say, made an LCS more than once within a few years after their tanking process ended.

And I’d be curious to know how many teams tanked and never made more than one LCS in a similar time frame.

I feel like Houston has warped everyone’s perspective of tanking.

*edit* For example, the Royals made 2 WS in a row. They were sub.500 (sometimes egregiously awful) 9 years prior to peeking above .500 one season before that 2 year run. Then they’ve been mediocre to dreadful for 7 years since. Was that a successful tank? 14 awful years, 3 mediocre years, and 1 title?

The Sox haven’t tanked at all and have done farrrr better than that atrocity.
 
Last edited:

Philip Jeff Frye

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2001
10,056
Not Bloom specific, but the Dodgers and Yankees are the only franchises who have been successful at doing this in recent history. Other big market teams--Mets, Cubs, White Sox, Astros, Phillies, Nationals, Rangers, Braves have not. Maybe that just means that it's really hard to do, but I do find it interesting that it is far and away the exception for big market teams, not the norm.
The Braves just won the NL East for the sixth year in a row. What are they not doing?
 

JM3

often quoted
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
12,989
Tanking is the easiest way to rebuild & increases your chances of getting to a higher level juggernaut.

Tanking by itself of course is not a solution. You need really, really good talent evaluation & player development to make it work. Same as without tanking. Only easier.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
4,113
Who are the people who thought JBJ was the target of that trade? If there are any, they’re in the minority, at least on this board. Most everyone here knew that was a buy prospects move while hoping to squeeze a little productivity out of JBJ.
Yeah I just went back and read that thread. Most posters were gaga over the trade because the Sox took on salary for better prospects. A few posters hated it because a) they were mediocre prospects from a bad system and b) fear of JBJ. Those posters were right on basically both points. You could argue the JBJ $ piece directly led to not being able to get under the cap in 2022. So it was really a triple whammy of bad: bad performance from JBJ, prospects that won’t pan out, and financial implications. Ugh.
Yes of course, and I was among them. But that's not my point. I'm saying that JBJ was not the target to take over right field. The real bet was that Duran, or to a lesser extent Cordero, would seize the job.

I'm saying that clearing a lane for an emerging prospect to make the leap from the minors to Boston has value, and that's what gets overlooked. It's not something that boom cycle/GFIN teams have to deal with quite as much.

I don't think there were a lot of returns for Renfroe (at best a relatively expensive, so-so player) that could give us both prospects and a plausible safeguard in RF in case the real plan (Duran's emergence) flopped. The bet that JBJ would rebound to some utility was even more complicated by the pandemic. It didn't work, but the guiding factor in that trade was not JBJ or the prospects, it was Duran.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
46,170
Yeah I just went back and read that thread. Most posters were gaga over the trade because the Sox took on salary for better prospects. A few posters hated it because a) they were mediocre prospects from a bad system and b) fear of JBJ. Those posters were right on basically both points. You could argue the JBJ $ piece directly led to not being able to get under the cap in 2022. So it was really a triple whammy of bad: bad performance from JBJ, prospects that won’t pan out, and financial implications. Ugh.
Yup. It made some sense conceptually but one of Binelas or Hamilton needed to pan out to something useful at MLB level to make it worth it. Odds are heavily against both.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
29,505
I’d be curious to know how many teams have, say, made an LCS more than once within a few years after their tanking process ended.

And I’d be curious to know how many teams tanked and never made more than one LCS in a similar time frame.

I feel like Houston has warped everyone’s perspective of tanking.

*edit* For example, the Royals made 2 WS in a row. They were sub.500 (sometimes egregiously awful) 9 years prior to peeking above .500 one season before that 2 year run. Then they’ve been mediocre to dreadful for 7 years since. Was that a successful tank? 14 awful years, 3 mediocre years, and 1 title?

The Sox haven’t tanked at all and have done farrrr better than that atrocity.
The Cubs tanked and won a WS. Some say that ATL tanked as well. Here's an article that attempts to address your question: https://calltothepen.com/2021/12/01/tanking-mlb-strategy/

Yes, teams can screw up tanking. I mean look at the most famous tanking team - the 76ers, and they've never made it to the conference finals and if Embiid leaves, they'll have nothing for a decade.

Yes tanking teams can screw things up but so can non-tanking teams. I mean how many seasons were the Os mediocre before Elias came in? And even though the Red Sox have been terrible 3 out of the last 4 years, how many games do we realistically project them to win next year even if the owners spend on a couple of free agents?
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
22,339
Miami (oh, Miami!)
But would the team look the same? I.e., would it be the same personnel and issues? Bad baserunning, bad defense, too many DHs, etc. While if things broke better they might have lucked into another postseason run in 2022 or 2023, they still aren't a well-constructed, functioning, disciplined, fundamentally sound team. Their .500 record the last two years is all the more frustrating to me because they are so incredibly painful to watch at times. It feels like if they cleaned some stuff up they could be a 90 win team; that they SHOULD be a 90 win team. I'd much rather watch a team that doesn't shoot itself in the foot every night.

And just like I made the comparison upthread to the 2020-2023 Patriots, this is another area where they've been very similar. The recent Pats have consistently made the little mistakes that they so often avoided and capitalized on from the other team from 2001-2018.
I think the team looks remarkably different with a healthy Story at SS for a full season, and a solid CF (Hernandez/Duran) for a full season. That does not entirely address the "fundamentals" issues (which I agree are a real problem), but it would cut down on some of the errors. Then, maybe, you have more pitching to weak contact, and starters go deeper in games. Once that happens, you've got a 90+ win team on your hands, with just a few changes in player-personnel.

My thoughts on this is that we're stuck with Devers at 3B, Casas at 1B, and Yoshida in LF. But this can be strongly mitigated, perhaps overcome (especially when half the games are at Fenway) with a good CF, a RF who is akin to a CF, and good middle IF defense.

Anyway, the talent is there. The coaching has to be completely revamped.
 

8slim

has trust issues
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
23,860
Unreal America
The Cubs tanked and won a WS. Some say that ATL tanked as well. Here's an article that attempts to address your question: https://calltothepen.com/2021/12/01/tanking-mlb-strategy/

Yes, teams can screw up tanking. I mean look at the most famous tanking team - the 76ers, and they've never made it to the conference finals and if Embiid leaves, they'll have nothing for a decade.

Yes tanking teams can screw things up but so can non-tanking teams. I mean how many seasons were the Os mediocre before Elias came in? And even though the Red Sox have been terrible 3 out of the last 4 years, how many games do we realistically project them to win next year even if the owners spend on a couple of free agents?
92.

Seriously.

*edit*. I just think tanking breaks the compact a franchise has with its fan base. Willingly sucking for 5+ years is fine… if the team wants to cut ticket prices by 50%, and give away MLB.tv or RSN subscriptions for free. Otherwise, it’s a shitty thing to do to the people who pay your bills and make your franchise worth billions.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
17,400
How realistic is it for the Red Sox to being a tanking plan in the hope of being a contender in 5-7 years?
 

Yelling At Clouds

Post-darwinian
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
3,142
Jared seems to think (starting at 3:15), that Bloom did not have a good reputation around the league with other GM's and agents)
Been thinking about this in the context of all the times we heard "Actually, the Red Sox offered [Free Agent X] more money, but..." or "The Red Sox nearly had a deal in place for [Player Y], but..." If other people around the league just didn't like the guy, then maybe it actually was a factor, and maybe that's why other teams were willing to leak stuff - we're still reading about things like that alleged Sale trade after the fact.

I have no idea, obviously, if any of it is true, but if it is, then yeah, probably for the best that he's gone.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
22,339
Miami (oh, Miami!)
How realistic is it for the Red Sox to being a tanking plan in the hope of being a contender in 5-7 years?
Well, the draft is now a lottery, so you can't deep-tank and rely on picking up a couple of #1-3 picks anymore. And the Sox can't get consecutive top 6 picks, as they're a big-market team. So you're tanking for a 1-6, plus a 7 at best.

I'm guessing it's more accurate to say that the Sox have a window starting in 24 or 25 and going to 27 (later if they get lucky with transitioning players in and out). They have to add pitching to actualize it though.

I think they can do it. The talent in the current farm system is set to really start showing up in the next 1-3 years, and then the FA clock (6 years of service starts). In 2025-7 they only have 3 major commitments: Devers, Story, and Yoshida for $75M or so. Casas (for example) hits arb in 2026 I think? So they're not going to arb-out right away either, like they started doing in 2018.

So there's money there. All they have to do is be smart/lucky with their FA acquisitions and trades. They need Eovaldis and Wachas, and need to avoid Extension-Sale and Klubers.

The more rabid and impatient the fan base becomes, the more likely you see Price, Crawford, Sandoval type "big name" long-term signings. I think that's the biggest danger here to having a competitive club.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
29,505
92.

Seriously.

*edit*. I just think tanking breaks the compact a franchise has with its fan base. Willingly sucking for 5+ years is fine… if the team wants to cut ticket prices by 50%, and give away MLB.tv or RSN subscriptions for free. Otherwise, it’s a shitty thing to do to the people who pay your bills and make your franchise worth billions.
I'll take the under on that. :)

But with regards to your last paragraph - it totally makes sense and I see where you (and others) are coming from but if Bloom had come in and declared a full tank and traded Mookie and Sale and everyone else and the Red Sox had lost 110 games (or the COVID equivalent) for the last four years but come out of it with probably a handful of really good prospects, would our position as fans be any different than it is now?

Yes the 2021 Red Sox were great but I'd certainly trade that season for where the Os are right now.
 

kazuneko

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
2,565
Honolulu HI
I think the team looks remarkably different with a healthy Story at SS for a full season, and a solid CF (Hernandez/Duran) for a full season.
Agree on Story but not sure what you are getting at with Duran. Yes, he was better in the field this year than he was in 22’, but that’s only because he was unplayably bad last year.
Duran’s improved performance in the field doesn’t mean he’s the type of guy (like Kike in CF once was) who can stabilize a defense. His -5 DRS in less than 500 innings would still place him as second worst in the league and 3rd worst in baseball had he had enough innings to qualify.
In fact, Duran not only isn’t an answer to the Sox’s defensive challenges, he’s another one of their problems. Duran in CF is at least as pressing a problem as Yoshida in LF, whose -6 DRS in LF (in more than 200 extra innings) is no worse than what Duran has done in CF.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
22,339
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Agree on Story but not sure what you are getting at with Duran. Yes, he was better in the field this year than he was in 22’, but that’s only because he was unplayably bad last year.
Duran’s improved performance in the field doesn’t mean he’s the type of guy (like Kike in CF once was) who can stabilize a defense. His -5 DRS in less than 500 innings would still place him as second worst in the league and 3rd worst in baseball had he had enough innings to qualify.
In fact, Duran not only isn’t an answer to the Sox’s defensive challenges, he’s another one of their problems. Duran in CF is at least as pressing a problem as Yoshida in LF, whose -6 DRS in LF (in more than 200 extra innings) is no worse than what Duran has done in CF.
Fair point - you can swap in Rafaela if you want. I'd note though that Duran's made a huge leap forward, mostly because, per various reports, he's gotten better coaching on how to play CF. So he's probably not done growing as a fielder.
 

8slim

has trust issues
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
23,860
Unreal America
I'll take the under on that. :)

But with regards to your last paragraph - it totally makes sense and I see where you (and others) are coming from but if Bloom had come in and declared a full tank and traded Mookie and Sale and everyone else and the Red Sox had lost 110 games (or the COVID equivalent) for the last four years but come out of it with probably a handful of really good prospects, would our position as fans be any different than it is now?

Yes the 2021 Red Sox were great but I'd certainly trade that season for where the Os are right now.
I’ll be honest, if we purposefully tanked and lost 110 games for the last 4 years I wouldn’t be a baseball fan anymore.

Dead serious.

Life is too short, and I have too many other interests then to spend a second on a team that acts that way.

I 100% get that there are some seasons where a team can’t go all out, personnel-wise, to compete for a title. I understood 2023 to be exactly that. My expectation this season was to be a WC contender through Labor Day weekend (and we didn’t even pull that off). But a team should always be doing its best to compete within whatever parameters exist to achieve long term franchise success.

Sports is entertainment. There’s a million other ways to be entertained than endure a purposefully atrocious product for years. In fact I think people who do are suckers. You hear me 76ers fans? Suckers.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
17,400
I'll take the under on that. :)

But with regards to your last paragraph - it totally makes sense and I see where you (and others) are coming from but if Bloom had come in and declared a full tank and traded Mookie and Sale and everyone else and the Red Sox had lost 110 games (or the COVID equivalent) for the last four years but come out of it with probably a handful of really good prospects, would our position as fans be any different than it is now?

Yes the 2021 Red Sox were great but I'd certainly trade that season for where the Os are right now.
With the new rules regarding draft position, not so sure I would be OK with that. And the Sox have a good mix of prospects in the middle tiers of the minor leagues.

The problem is that if the Sox started losing 110 games for 4 straight years, there would be a lot of unsold tickets sitting in John Henry's AWS server.
 
Mar 30, 2023
88
In a league where every single team makes a significant profit every single year -- before they even get to revenue sharing, and to say nothing of the appreciation of team value over the duration of ownership -- tanking is nothing but a cynical and disgusting strategy that billionaire owners have convinced certain fans is "smart," when all it actually is a way to make more money. No fans should ever accept it, particularly fans of one of the single richest clubs in global sports.

And frankly, the very idea that "the only way to win is with cost controlled players" is the much the same thing, but American fans aren't ready for that conversation. We all love exploiting labor too much.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
Not just cost controlled players- you really need cost controlled pitching. The high end FA pitching marketplace is expensive and incredibly risky- the less money you have to invest in it, the better. Freddie Freeman and Carlos Rodon got pretty similar deals, after all.

If you have to get multiple pitchers from FA every year, it makes things really challenging.
Here's a question that maybe belongs in another thread but relates to what you say: Has baseball changed in a way that makes acquiring FA SPs much harder? Specifically the emphasis on high-effort, high velocity pitching leaves very few reliable arms available into their 30s. The early lockup contracts are one factor, skimming a few elite guys off the market. And the ones left are guys like Snell, Rodon, etc., guys who have injury concerns or velocity drops from the early wear and tear. Bloom doesn't literally "love injured guys" as mentioned above, he was a GM of a team that needed starters off the market and there were never enough uninjured FAs worth the cost.
 

JM3

often quoted
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
12,989
And frankly, the very idea that "the only way to win is with cost controlled players" is the much the same thing, but American fans aren't ready for that conversation. We all love exploiting labor too much.
I think it's a really exploitative system that shouldn't exist. But the fact is it does, so it's a system you need to operate within.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
10,824
Here's a question that maybe belongs in another thread but relates to what you say: Has baseball changed in a way that makes acquiring FA SPs much harder? Specifically the emphasis on high-effort, high velocity pitching leaves very few reliable arms available into their 30s. The early lockup contracts are one factor, skimming a few elite guys off the market. And the ones left are guys like Snell, Rodon, etc., guys who have injury concerns or velocity drops from the early wear and tear. Bloom doesn't literally "love injured guys" as mentioned above, he was a GM of a team that needed starters off the market and there were never enough uninjured FAs worth the cost.
Great question, I think the answer is definitely yes. There are fewer starters in general (with the move towards openers), fewer good starters in general, I think, so fewer good free agent starters- and like you said, they all come with flaws. Bloom did a pretty good job, i suspect, at signing free agent starters- Kluber was the only real bust even if most guys he got were only average-ish.

It seems like the days of trading for a small market teams young starter (Pedro, Beckett, etc) before they get expensive is also much less of a thing- in large part, it seems like the weaker small market teams don’t even have guys like this and in the few instances in which they do, the prices are so high because such players are scarce.

The most wins for active pitchers under 30….Aaron Nola (90), Jose Berrios (83), EdRo (80), Blake Snell (71), Taijuan Walker (69), and German Marquez (65). Kind of a weird list, no? I guess the definition of a “top of the rotation” starter is probably none that need to be recalibrated.

So you really need to develop pitching form within, I think. But if you aren’t…and want to contend, what’s the solution? Delving into the FA marketplace that’s riskier than before? Trying to make trades which are harder to pull off (and probably more so when you don’t have pitching prospects to deal)?

good luck to the next guy.
 

Benj4ever

lurker
Nov 21, 2022
325
Here's a question that maybe belongs in another thread but relates to what you say: Has baseball changed in a way that makes acquiring FA SPs much harder? Specifically the emphasis on high-effort, high velocity pitching leaves very few reliable arms available into their 30s. The early lockup contracts are one factor, skimming a few elite guys off the market. And the ones left are guys like Snell, Rodon, etc., guys who have injury concerns or velocity drops from the early wear and tear. Bloom doesn't literally "love injured guys" as mentioned above, he was a GM of a team that needed starters off the market and there were never enough uninjured FAs worth the cost.
It'll be interesting to see how your point plays out with the pitch clock. One reason games got so long was analytics. Someone figured out that taking more time between pitches allowed hurlers to throw harder for sustained periods. Now that starters can't do this anymore, maybe the injury trend will reverse itself.
 

Marciano490

Urological Expert
SoSH Member
Nov 4, 2007
60,910
In a league where every single team makes a significant profit every single year -- before they even get to revenue sharing, and to say nothing of the appreciation of team value over the duration of ownership -- tanking is nothing but a cynical and disgusting strategy that billionaire owners have convinced certain fans is "smart," when all it actually is a way to make more money. No fans should ever accept it, particularly fans of one of the single richest clubs in global sports.

And frankly, the very idea that "the only way to win is with cost controlled players" is the much the same thing, but American fans aren't ready for that conversation. We all love exploiting labor too much.
I love this.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
23,997
In a league where every single team makes a significant profit every single year -- before they even get to revenue sharing, and to say nothing of the appreciation of team value over the duration of ownership -- tanking is nothing but a cynical and disgusting strategy that billionaire owners have convinced certain fans is "smart," when all it actually is a way to make more money. No fans should ever accept it, particularly fans of one of the single richest clubs in global sports.

And frankly, the very idea that "the only way to win is with cost controlled players" is the much the same thing, but American fans aren't ready for that conversation. We all love exploiting labor too much.
This is the post of the year.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
4,113
Here's a question that maybe belongs in another thread but relates to what you say: Has baseball changed in a way that makes acquiring FA SPs much harder? Specifically the emphasis on high-effort, high velocity pitching leaves very few reliable arms available into their 30s. The early lockup contracts are one factor, skimming a few elite guys off the market. And the ones left are guys like Snell, Rodon, etc., guys who have injury concerns or velocity drops from the early wear and tear. Bloom doesn't literally "love injured guys" as mentioned above, he was a GM of a team that needed starters off the market and there were never enough uninjured FAs worth the cost.
This is a big piece! Pitching now is max effort all the time, so injuries are way more prevalent. And far more often than in previous generations, elite production is more often the result of customized performance training systems (sometimes conducted privately by the player) than “true talent.”
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
4,113
In a league where every single team makes a significant profit every single year -- before they even get to revenue sharing, and to say nothing of the appreciation of team value over the duration of ownership -- tanking is nothing but a cynical and disgusting strategy that billionaire owners have convinced certain fans is "smart," when all it actually is a way to make more money. No fans should ever accept it, particularly fans of one of the single richest clubs in global sports.

And frankly, the very idea that "the only way to win is with cost controlled players" is the much the same thing, but American fans aren't ready for that conversation. We all love exploiting labor too much.
Couldn't agree more. And like everywhere else, labor's share of total revenue has shrunk across MLB.

Tanking is a scheme, and I'm glad that (outside of rare and conditional circumstances like 2020, maybe) it's simply not possible in Boston.

I think the "only way to win is with cost-controlled players" is largely true, however, given the rules around arbitration and team control and the aging curves of players within the system we're in. But those should be changed too.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
7,582
I think the "only way to win is with cost-controlled players" is largely true, however, given the rules around arbitration and team control and the aging curves of players within the system we're in. But those should be changed too.
Yep. The system is no doubt rigged. But when players don't hit free agency until right around the time they start to dip downward on the aging curve, generally speaking, this is what happens. Are the players screwed? Some are. Others are wildly overpaid. If they got rid of all cost control and everyone was a free agent form day 1 -- no draft, just a total free for all --- but kept spending caps, I'm not sure if that would result in a net gain, net loss, or a push for the players.