The Red Sox have fired Chaim Bloom

simplicio

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Because unfortunately the rules state that we’ve had to field an MLB squad the past 4 years, and a frontline starter might have made those teams better?

More seriously, what harm would have occurred? Not spending money on stopgap flyers like Paxton and Kluber? One guy blocking the younger guys from filling the perpetual 3 annual holes in the rotation?

I’m not saying we should have given someone a Boegarts deal. But it sure seems to me that a frontline starter might have landed us in the playoffs this year. Why would that have been a bad thing? Especially when it seems ownership kinda want that, hence the Bloom termination.
We know Bloom tried to get Eovaldi, Heaney and Eflin last year. That's the type of deal that would have made sense at that point instead of spending a little less for Kluber, but spending Verlander/DeGrom/Rodon or even Bassitt money would have made resetting the tax this year difficult. This winter is the time where it makes sense to look at the true top tier.

Now if it's Chaim's failings as a deal maker to blame for being unsuccessful with those guys, then I'm totally on board with getting someone who is equally good at identifying targets but better at actually acquiring them.
 

8slim

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So there are a dozen games left in the season without a frontline starter where there were tons of opportunities to find out the answers to those questions. And I don't think we're any closer to knowing than we were at this point last year. Whitlock still looks like someone who could start or relieve, but always gets injured. Houck still struggles after the 5th inning. Crawford still mixes brilliance with utter garbage. Bringing in someone who was better than all of them to give 180 innings wouldn't have hurt anyone else's chances to help the team and may have resulted in a playoff appearance.
I think we have learned a lot this year. Unfortunately it’s just not that encouraging. I feel pretty confident that Houck, Whitlock and Crawford are, at very best, back end of the rotation guys. Maybe they’ll give us 2-3 months of strong outings, but that seems to be the upper end. I’d let the three of them fight it our for one rotation spot in 2024.

I agree that having a solid, 180
Inning guy wouldn’t have prevented us from gathering these learnings. And we might have won more games too. Which would’ve been nice.
 

chawson

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Then why was he fired.
Because the perception around the league was that he was too rigid/inflexible/indecisive and they need to change the perception.

Or because we’re probably about to spend a lot of money/prospects and it’s probably better to get someone more freewheeling for that.

And for PR reasons, because most casual fans don’t understand that the Mookie deal was mandated by ownership/initiated by Dombrowski and therefore hate Bloom.
 

tims4wins

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Because the perception around the league was that he was too rigid/inflexible/indecisive and they need to change the perception.

Or because we’re probably about to spend a lot of money/prospects and it’s probably better to get someone more freewheeling for that.

And for PR reasons, because most casual fans don’t understand that the Mookie deal was mandated by ownership/initiated by Dombrowski and therefore hate Bloom.
I have a hard time believing that “performance “ wasn’t the primary reason.
 

8slim

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We know Bloom tried to get Eovaldi, Heaney and Eflin last year. That's the type of deal that would have made sense at that point instead of spending a little less for Kluber, but spending Verlander/DeGrom/Rodon or even Bassitt money would have made resetting the tax this year difficult. This winter is the time where it makes sense to look at the true top tier.

Now if it's Chaim's failings as a deal maker to blame for being unsuccessful with those guys, then I'm totally on board with getting someone who is equally good at identifying targets but better at actually acquiring them.
I gotcha. It’s always hard to separate the spin from the truth. But it seems like he had little interest in Eovaldi, per Eovaldi who has said he wanted to stay and didn’t get an offer.

And the scuttle but the past few days sure makes it seem like Bloom was letting the perfect be the enemy of the good when it came to many acquisitions.

I just kind reject the notion that there was no value in acquiring better starters the past 4 years.
 

8slim

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I have a hard time believing that “performance “ wasn’t the primary reason.
Of course it was. Does anyone think that if we had won 85-89 games the past 2 years and eeked into the playoffs that he’d have been fired?

His job was to resupply the farm AND win at the major league level.
 

chawson

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I have a hard time believing that “performance “ wasn’t the primary reason.
Well, sure. But try this exercise: How about you go back and identify the exact correct FA signings it would have required to field a contending team and stay under the tax two of the last three years?

Also factor that the team was seemingly willing to pay Bogaerts something like 6/$175 if it came to that.

The payroll restrictions came from Henry. I think Bloom, while hardly flawless, did a decent job fielding a team while working within those restrictions, while allowing for young players to acclimate (and sometimes take their lumps) at the major league level.
 

simplicio

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I gotcha. It’s always hard to separate the spin from the truth. But it seems like he had little interest in Eovaldi, per Eovaldi who has said he wanted to stay and didn’t get an offer.
Wait what? It's been rehashed a million times here. They made Eovaldi an offer, Eo rejected it and went shopping, by the time he came back having not topped it they'd spent elsewhere and had to move on.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I gotcha. It’s always hard to separate the spin from the truth. But it seems like he had little interest in Eovaldi, per Eovaldi who has said he wanted to stay and didn’t get an offer.

And the scuttle but the past few days sure makes it seem like Bloom was letting the perfect be the enemy of the good when it came to many acquisitions.

I just kind reject the notion that there was no value in acquiring better starters the past 4 years.
The bolded doesn't really jibe with the reports that Eovaldi came back to Bloom sometime in December to see if an offer was still on the table and being told the team had moved on.
 

8slim

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Wait what? It's been rehashed a million times here. They made Eovaldi an offer, Eo rejected it and went shopping, by the time he came back having not topped it they'd spent elsewhere and had to move on.
Eovaldi said a couple months back that he wanted to stay. That’s all I know.
 

8slim

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For the rotation? Yes, Kluber. But also Jansen, Martin, Yoshida, and Turner were signed. Whatever money they offered Eovaldi had been redistributed.
Is it weird that some are saying we shouldn’t have spent any money on a “frontline starter” but it’s apparently cool with them to spend on a closer and set up man?
 

moondog80

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Haha, probably.


So we wanted to bring a starter back, then spent money on the back end of the pen?
Yes. Because the starter said no, and Haney and Eflin opted to sign near home. At that point there were no starters left that they saw as worthy investments, and they weren’t in a place in the contention cycle where they were going to give up the high end prospects it would have taken to get a top starter in a trade. So they spent their money elsewhere while there were still options. It wasn’t ideal, but given the holes they had, they were always going to have to cut corners somewhere.
 

teddykgb

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Feel like the draft stuff has been covered but for me a lot of the job of the GM is working relationships with agents and getting a good feel for the markets of different players. Especially if pitching isn’t going to be a draft priority you do need to know what that will cost to acquire in FA or trade and it feels like all the near misses on guys who went somewhere else are fundamentally not having a good read on what it will take to get a deal done. Guys can choose a more competitive situation or to play closer to home but it’s the job of the GM to understand if that’s their inclination through contact with agents and either plan to pay their way through that problem or move on.

Similarly, I’ve always felt that they really messed up last seasons deadline. JD Martinez, Bogaerts, Eovaldi etc all should have been moved if you didn’t have a really good sense of whether you can re sign them. Compensatory picks and all that exist but they needed to have been in asset acquisition mode to make longer term trades that better aligned with the window for the prospect pipeline. Admittedly, this seems at odds with Kennedy now saying that the expectation is to win but with a luxury tax reset seemingly obvious this year they needed to make moves and not lose so much MLB talent for nothing when competition was such a long shot. Probably the same needed to be done this year with Sale and Paxton who teams would have talked themselves into as difference makers in a playoff push.

I suppose in the end it just feels like they started down one plan with the Betts trade but then waffled on what their contention window was while struggling to have a good read on the market for players. Perhaps some overestimating on the allure of playing in Boston or just not having a good relationship with enough agents and insiders to really know how to navigate the trade and FA market. I think Bloom is a smart guy and did a lot right but when you get fired and other teams start leaking that you were hard to do business with I think it is a sign that bloom needs to work on some of the softer sides of negotiation and being one of the few members of a very competitive and very exclusive club. Never felt like he really had his fingers on the pulse aside maybe from getting an at the time seemingly good deal on Story. But then the rest of the league may have had some intel he didn’t on his continued viability too
 

JM3

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Is it weird that some are saying we shouldn’t have spent any money on a “frontline starter” but it’s apparently cool with them to spend on a closer and set up man?
Short term contract vs. Long term contract. Never really thought Kenley was a great idea, but oh well.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Is it weird that some are saying we shouldn’t have spent any money on a “frontline starter” but it’s apparently cool with them to spend on a closer and set up man?
Two year commitments versus much longer ones is a big piece of that puzzle. If they could have gotten a "frontline starter" for a two year contract, maybe they forego Jansen and Martin. But those innings have to be covered too.
 

pk1627

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Because the perception around the league was that he was too rigid/inflexible/indecisive and they need to change the perception.

Or because we’re probably about to spend a lot of money/prospects and it’s probably better to get someone more freewheeling for that.

And for PR reasons, because most casual fans don’t understand that the Mookie deal was mandated by ownership/initiated by Dombrowski and therefore hate Bloom.
And mostly because Henry is an ass - and is pretty uncompromising when it comes to results.

Look. I appreciate him immensely but he’s the type of guy that feels everyone is fungible. His disdain for long contracts is well known. He’s dumped all sorts of people I really liked on my team (Francona should have been manager for life IMO). Produce or bye.

I plan to enjoy each additional title in his tenure, but there’s a part of me that will be relieved when he sells.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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As a bit of a defense here, the Sox went under slot primarily to sign Roman Anthony and Cashman would likely trade a number of those guys for Anthony in a cocaine heartbeat. And Brooks Brannon…which is definitely more up for debate
Absolutely. If I wasn't clear - it was a clear strategy of Bloom's to go hard on athletic position players (often middle of the diamond) and then go cheap on "strike-throwing" pitchers hoping the Red Sox could - with development - get them to the majors.

I'm sure the data makes this seem like a smart play but I wonder how many of these "strike-throwing" pitchers make it the majors. I would guess it's pretty low odds but that's based on absolutely zero data.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Yes. Because the starter said no, and Haney and Eflin opted to sign near home. At that point there were no starters left that they saw as worthy investments, and they weren’t in a place in the contention cycle where they were going to give up the high end prospects it would have taken to get a top starter in a trade. So they spent their money elsewhere while there were still options. It wasn’t ideal, but given the holes they had, they were always going to have to cut corners somewhere.
If they weren’t in the right place in the “contention cycle” why spend so much money on a closer? Seems to me that Bloom thought a lot of the available SP were interchangeable and that there wasn’t a huge difference among Eovaldi and Kluber. Added bonus was that after three years of trying, Kluber was finally willing to accept a one year deal, Eovaldi certainly wasn’t going to take that.
 

8slim

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Yes. Because the starter said no, and Haney and Eflin opted to sign near home. At that point there were no starters left that they saw as worthy investments, and they weren’t in a place in the contention cycle where they were going to give up the high end prospects it would have taken to get a top starter in a trade. So they spent their money elsewhere while there were still options. It wasn’t ideal, but given the holes they had, they were always going to have to cut corners somewhere.
You guys followed this much more closely then I did, clearly. I’m always skeptical of the “sign near home” stuff because there are very few pro athletes who won’t take more money when it’s offered. But that’s past now.
 

simplicio

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Timeline was:
Dec 8th: Martin signs with BOS
Dec 9th: Heaney signs with TEX instead of a better deal from BOS
Dec 13th: Eflin signs with TBR who matched a BOS offer, Kenley signs with BOS
Dec 27th: Eo signs with TEX

So their 3 starter targets are presumed gone when they sign the Kenley deal. The reasoning of pivoting to a strong pen if you can't get the starters you're looking for makes sense to me. Let's not forget that the 2022 pen was among the worst in baseball too, and an area they absolutely needed to improve on.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Timeline was:
Dec 8th: Martin signs with BOS
Dec 9th: Heaney signs with TEX instead of a better deal from BOS
Dec 13th: Eflin signs with TBR who matched a BOS offer, Kenley signs with BOS
Dec 27th: Eo signs with TEX

So their 3 starter targets are presumed gone when they sign the Kenley deal. The reasoning of pivoting to a strong pen if you can't get the starters you're looking for makes sense to me.
Dec 28th: Kluber signs with BOS

https://theathletic.com/4039427/2022/12/28/nathan-eovaldi-red-sox-miss/?source=user_shared_article

They also get draft pick compensation for losing Eovaldi which may have been a consideration.
 

Fishy1

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Timeline was:
Dec 8th: Martin signs with BOS
Dec 9th: Heaney signs with TEX instead of a better deal from BOS
Dec 13th: Eflin signs with TBR who matched a BOS offer, Kenley signs with BOS
Dec 27th: Eo signs with TEX

So their 3 starter targets are presumed gone when they sign the Kenley deal. The reasoning of pivoting to a strong pen if you can't get the starters you're looking for makes sense to me.
Yeah.

If Elfin and Eovaldi had taken the offers the Sox had given them, we'd be having a different conversation right now, I think. Or if Kluber had been somewhere between the ERA+ of 85-112 that he'd been the last couple of years. He wasn't. In fact he was so bad that they had to banish him to the phantom disabled list.

Bloom bet that at least two of Sale, Kluber, Paxton, Houck, Bello, and Whitlock would emerge as 150 inning+ guys who would be work horses. Instead, Bello is the only guy headed for 150 innings, and Pivetta and Kutter Crawford are the only other guys who broke 100 innings, and Crawford is second on the team in bWAR.

When you bet on pitching like that, sometimes you hit, and sometimes you miss horribly. He chose to bet this way, and now he's paying for those results.
 

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There are currently 12 pitchers who have exceeded 180 innings this year, plus another 25 or so within 15 innings of that mark. Of those, two were available as free agents last winter (Bassitt and Eflin). I don't think bringing someone in to do that, or having someone in house to do that, is as simple as you want it to be.
Who said it was simple? Your claim was that having someone like that in the rotation would have prevented us from finding out what Houck, Whitlock, and Crawford could be. There are 5 spots in the rotation and lots of injuries to go around. Getting someone good in any of the last three offseasons wouldn't have impacted the ability of the team to break starters into the rotation at all.
 

Fishy1

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I don't have access to the Athletic - once Bloom had signed Jansen and Martin, would the ownership group still let him sign Eovaldi?

My impression was since Bloom couldn't nail down Eovaldi or Elfin, he decided to cobble together the innings he would've gotten from Eovaldi with these other deals. Kluber being such a bad miss wouldn't have been the end of the world if Paxton, Sale, Whitlock hadn't fallen apart, and Houck hadn't gotten whacked in the face with a line drive.

I think Bloom made a reasonable but ultimately risky bet that someone out of that group would give him something resembling work-horseish numbers, but it didn't even come close to happening.
 

simplicio

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It was really Pivetta and Kluber both operating at catastrophically bad levels that did them in. If either had started within 10% of reasonable expectation I think we'd be looking at a very different year.
 

moondog80

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If they weren’t in the right place in the “contention cycle” why spend so much money on a closer? Seems to me that Bloom thought a lot of the available SP were interchangeable and that there wasn’t a huge difference among Eovaldi and Kluber. Added bonus was that after three years of trying, Kluber was finally willing to accept a one year deal, Eovaldi certainly wasn’t going to take that.
Part of the appeal of Jansen and Martin was that they both were only two year deals.

The irony here is that with all the land mines in last year's FA class (how would you feel with Carlos Correa? Or Jacob DeGrom? Or Carlos Rondon? Or even Trea Turner or Xander, who were fine but already showed significant decline in year 1 of 800 year deals?), Bloom got great production from Turner, Duvall, Jansen, Martin, and Yoshida, the latter 3 still having positive trade value should the new GM choose to pursue that route. It wasn't perfect -- Kluber sucked and so did Kike (for all intents and purposes a free agent singing). But overall, that's a hell of a return on investment for year 1, and they did with relatively minimal long term risk. SP was clearly a priority, but it didn't work out so he pivoted and got the value where he could while it while still there.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Yoshida and Jansen have positive trade value? Not so sure about that. If so, they should probably move both. Jansen will finish the year at 1.1 fWAR while Yoshida is at 0.5 (which puts him in between McGuire and Tapia, even with Abreu).
 
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8slim

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Related to starting pitching… why didn’t we acquire a starter when Sale, Houck, and Whitlock were on the shelf?

I never understood how going 6 weeks with a 2-3 man rotation was going to work. And while the results then weren’t terrible, it clearly spent the pen.

I think it’s things like that which also contributed to Bloom’s demise.
 

Fishy1

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Related to starting pitching… why didn’t we acquire a starter when Sale, Houck, and Whitlock were on the shelf?

I never understood how going 6 weeks with a 2-3 man rotation was going to work. And while the results then weren’t terrible, it clearly spent the pen.

I think it’s things like that which also contributed to Bloom’s demise.
Not only were the results not terrible, July was actually the best stretch of baseball the team played. Ironically, that was actually when the team was the best. IIRC, Pivetta and Murphy were absolutely cruising during those bullpen games, giving us 5-6 innings of effectiveness. We went 18-5 in July.

It was when everybody came back that the wheels came off.
 

YTF

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Is it weird that some are saying we shouldn’t have spent any money on a “frontline starter” but it’s apparently cool with them to spend on a closer and set up man?
I won't pretend to have any idea of the thought process or inner workings during the FA period, but in some ways don't you approach it like a draft? You enter with a certain strategy, but also need a plan B. As certain guys come off the board in the position that may have been your top priority you may get to a point where there are now multiple JAGS further down the "draft board" that might be interchangeable. With that in mind, wouldn't it make sense to shift gears to plan C, D, etc... and find other guys who fill needs before they come off the board? I know it's not exactly the same as the draft as teams are also dealing from different POVs depending not only on need but also cash available. Even so I still see where there are times when a team might shift gears.
 

chawson

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Doesn’t really say, but it does indicate how much payroll flexibility the Sox had even after signing Kluber. Eovaldi was +$7M higher AAV than Kluber. Aren’t they around $8M less than the threshold? So guess it would have been close.
We were also plausibly in the shortstop market and had yet to sign Turner (or another DH type who could provide protection for Casas), and were still mandated not to exceed the first threshold.

A lot of us wanted to take on Yelich's salary for Willy Adames, or trade for Joey Wendle ($6M) or Miguel Rojas ($5M). (Instead we took on Mondesi). Those are still relatively cheap options but that few million in AAV makes a difference when you look at last year's SP market.

I'm not saying the decisions were correct, clearly they didn't work. But it was an extremely difficult needle to thread, and even with the benefit of hindsight it's tough to assemble a post-hoc roster that would have met all criteria and contended.
 

moondog80

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Yoshida and Jansen have positive trade value? Not so sure about that. If so, they should probably move both. Jansen will finish the year at 1.1 fWAR while Yoshida is at 0.5 (which puts him in between McGuire and Tapia, even with Abreu).
I'd think so, yes. In Jansen's case, teams pay a premium to avoid long term risk, and the nature of Jansen's position is to not accumulate a lot of WAR.

For Yoshida, teams pay for offense. That's why Schwarber got paid two years ago and would get paid now if he was a FA.

I don't think there's a *ton* of surplus value. But there's some there.

Related to starting pitching… why didn’t we acquire a starter when Sale, Houck, and Whitlock were on the shelf?

I never understood how going 6 weeks with a 2-3 man rotation was going to work. And while the results then weren’t terrible, it clearly spent the pen.

I think it’s things like that which also contributed to Bloom’s demise.
Yes. This is true.
 
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8slim

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I won't pretend to have any idea of the thought process or inner workings during the FA period, but in some ways don't you approach it like a draft? You enter with a certain strategy, but also need a plan B. As certain guys come off the board in the position that may have been your top priority you may get to a point where there are now multiple JAGS further down the "draft board" that might be interchangeable. With that in mind, wouldn't it make sense to shift gears to plan C, D, etc... and find other guys who fill needs before they come off the board? I know it's not exactly the same as the draft as teams are also dealing from different POVs depending not only on need but also cash available. Even so I still see where there are times when a team might shift gears.
Totally makes sense. However, the contention that kicked off my line of questions was about not needing to acquire a frontline starter at all during the past 4 years. Since the window wasn’t to open until 2024-25. I get how in any given year circumstances can dictate a change in plans. But seems safe to say that Bloom did not prioritize acquiring top end starters for most of his tenure. Maybe that would’ve changed. But it’s too late now.
 

Just a bit outside

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Yoshida and Jansen have positive trade value? Not so sure about that. If so, they should probably move both. Jansen will finish the year at 1.1 fWAR while Yoshida is at 0.5 (which puts him in between McGuire and Tapia, even with Abreu).
Which puts Jansen in the top 30ish for relief pitchers ahead of Jhoan Duran. Using WAR for relief pitchers is silly. There would certainly be a market for Jansen on a one year deal m
 

chawson

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Related to starting pitching… why didn’t we acquire a starter when Sale, Houck, and Whitlock were on the shelf?

I never understood how going 6 weeks with a 2-3 man rotation was going to work. And while the results then weren’t terrible, it clearly spent the pen.

I think it’s things like that which also contributed to Bloom’s demise.
Again, who?

Flaherty (-0.6 bWAR)
Lorenzen (-0.4 bWAR)
Montgomery (0.8 bWAR, would have cost equivalent of Rafaela/Yorke/Whitlock—we don't have a FV 50 SP prospect like Roby—and Meidroth)
Scherzer (1.0 bWAR; would have cost Yorke at least; out for season)
Verlander (0.5 bWAR, NTC, cost the FV equivalent of Rafaela and Alcantara)
Lynn (0.1 bWAR, cost the FV equivalent of Wikelman Gonzalez and Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz, plus whoever our version of Trayce Thompson is)
Yarbrough (0.4 bWAR, used by L.A. in relief, cost two unranked prospects)
Civale (0.3 bWAR, would have cost one of Bleis/Rafaela/Yorke)

Would any of those have made you happy?
 
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Benj4ever

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If ownership puts forth a mandate to trade Betts and then asks candidates for the job what their strategy would be for such a plan, then what's written in that FanGraphs piece makes perfect sense.
Read the FanGraphs piece. It states that trading Betts was Bloom's idea. Everything goes downhill from there.
 

moondog80

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Again, who?

Flaherty (-0.6 bWAR)
Lorenzen (-0.4 bWAR)
Montgomery (0.8 bWAR, would have cost equivalent of Rafaela/Yorke/Whitlock—we don't have a FV 50 SP prospect like Roby—and Meidroth)
Scherzer (1.0 bWAR; would have cost Yorke at least; out for season)
Verlander (0.5 bWAR, NTC, cost the FV equivalent of Rafaela and Alcantara)
Lynn (0.1 bWAR, cost the FV equivalent of Wikelman Gonzalez and Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz, plus whoever our version of Trayce Thompson is)
Yarbrough (0.4 bWAR, used by L.A. in relief, cost two unranked prospects)
Civale (0.3 bWAR, would have cost one of Bleis/Rafaela/Yorke)

Would any of those made you happy?
I think in terms of process, it would have been a good idea at the time to pursue someone to limit the bullpen games even if it might not have worked out. Because a burnt out bullpen is a foreseeable outcome they should have at least tried to avoid.
 

chawson

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Read the FanGraphs piece. It states that trading Betts was Bloom's idea. Everything goes downhill from there.
Absolutely not true. It was Dombrowski, in fact.

https://theathletic.com/4863711/2023/09/14/mccullough-chaim-bloom-mookie-betts-deal/

One hundred and eight days after the Fenway Sports Group hired Bloom as its chief baseball officer, John Henry’s ownership group authorized a trade of Mookie Betts to the Dodgers.
...
The idea of trading Betts did not originate with Bloom. In the summer of 2019, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman engaged in lengthy discussions with Dombrowski about a deal. The negotiations fizzled when the Red Sox went on a brief winning streak. But that winter, after Dombrowski got canned, Friedman connected with Bloom, his former lieutenant in Tampa Bay. The Red Sox wanted to reduce their luxury-tax payroll after exceeding the competitive-balance threshold in 2018 and 2019. Bloom was charged with dealing Betts to make that happen.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Totally makes sense. However, the contention that kicked off my line of questions was about not needing to acquire a frontline starter at all during the past 4 years. Since the window wasn’t to open until 2024-25. I get how in any given year circumstances can dictate a change in plans. But seems safe to say that Bloom did not prioritize acquiring top end starters for most of his tenure. Maybe that would’ve changed. But it’s too late now.
Okay, but again, what starter should he have acquired presumably in lieu of one or more of Richards, Perez, Wacha, Hill, and Kluber. Because that's the argument you're making: that he should have signed frontline pitcher X rather than go year-to-year with those guys. Is there someone in particular that is an obvious miss during that period that would not have become a hindrance or dead weight by the time they reached the "window" in 2024-2025?

Entering 2020 (before COVID), the rotation was Sale, Eovaldi, Rodriguez, Perez, and ?? They were clearly in salary dump mode as they traded Price and Betts just before spring training began. Adding another high end "frontline" starter was not on the agenda.

Entering 2021, the rotation assembled was Eovaldi, Rodriguez, Pivetta, Perez, Richards with Sale en route and Houck in the wings. The top 10 free agents that changed teams that winter, in order of total salary committed: Trevor Bauer, Jake Odorizzi, Taijuan Walker, Mike Minor, Charlie Morton, Corey Kluber, Drew Smyly, Richards, James Paxton, JA Happ.

Entering 2022, the rotation assembled was Eovaldi, Pivetta, Houck, Wacha, Hill with Sale and Whitlock (returned 4/23) on the IL to start the year. The top 10 free agents that changed teams that winter, in order of total salary committed: Max Scherzer, Robbie Ray, Kevin Gausman, ERod, Marcus Stroman, Jon Gray, Carlos Rodon, Steven Matz, Yusei Kikuchi, Noah Syndergaard.

We've covered the 2023 free agent market upthread so I won't repeat it.

With a farm system that we've all agreed was pretty bare, the notion of trading for this frontline starter, especially earlier on in the period in question, is kinda laughable. They weren't making a Kopech and Moncada for Sale kind of move because they didn't have a Kopech or Moncada type to trade. So who is this top end starter that Bloom failed to prioritize? And I don't really make this argument in defense of Bloom specifically. I think the argument remains whoever the GM is. The market wasn't exactly teeming with clear choices that Bloom blew or ignored.
 

JimD

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Nov 29, 2001
8,606
Read the FanGraphs piece. It states that trading Betts was Bloom's idea. Everything goes downhill from there.
If that was Bloom's idea, it was only because he knew ownership was unwilling to give Team Mookie a Godfather offer. Bloom's options were either trade Mookie before October 2020 when he could get something for him, or risk letting him go for draft picks.
 

simplicio

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Apr 11, 2012
3,561
If that was Bloom's idea, it was only because he knew ownership was unwilling to give Team Mookie a Godfather offer. Bloom's options were either trade Mookie before October 2020 when he could get something for him, or risk letting him go for draft picks.
While remaining saddled with Price.
 

Benj4ever

lurker
Nov 21, 2022
325
Absolutely not true. It was Dombrowski, in fact.

https://theathletic.com/4863711/2023/09/14/mccullough-chaim-bloom-mookie-betts-deal/

One hundred and eight days after the Fenway Sports Group hired Bloom as its chief baseball officer, John Henry’s ownership group authorized a trade of Mookie Betts to the Dodgers.
...
The idea of trading Betts did not originate with Bloom. In the summer of 2019, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman engaged in lengthy discussions with Dombrowski about a deal. The negotiations fizzled when the Red Sox went on a brief winning streak. But that winter, after Dombrowski got canned, Friedman connected with Bloom, his former lieutenant in Tampa Bay. The Red Sox wanted to reduce their luxury-tax payroll after exceeding the competitive-balance threshold in 2018 and 2019. Bloom was charged with dealing Betts to make that happen.
I'm agreeing with you! The point of my comment is that the FanGraphs piece is pure trash.
 
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Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
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Jul 14, 2005
22,339
Miami (oh, Miami!)
The narrative is that relying on Chris Sale at any point after 2019 was a foolish choice.
I think that's a separate and quasi-valid issue.

2021 - Sale made it back from TJ more or less on schedule and was as effective as one might reasonably hope for. Going into 2022, they were clearly were relying on Sale to contribute significantly.

2022 was a series of fluke injuries. Going into 2023, he hadn't pitched significant innings, and his mechanical injuries should have been vetted internally, with some plan to address them.

2023 really seems to have been mild injury, and moderate ineffectiveness. So to the extent they were relying on him in 2023, the question becomes, "How much and for what?" Secondarily, "If not for all that much, then what was the plan?" And there, I think we have to look at Whitlock and Houck. And those same questions should be asked.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
4,113
I'm agreeing with you! The point of my comment is that the FanGraphs piece is pure trash.
Oh, whoops! Sorry. Yeah, Jaffe is pretty much only good for HoF stuff.

It just immediately reminded me of that kind of bombshell line in the Athletic piece. Maybe that was reported before, but it was certainly news to me that Dombrowski originated the Mookie trade.