With tremendous financial flexibility, how will the Red Sox approach crucial seasons?

Now, for the first time under Bloom’s management, the Red Sox is entering a casual season with a tremendous amount of financial flexibility – more than $120 million in commitments from last year’s roster. outside the books – And the farm system that includes Brian Bello and Triston Casas in the major leagues and others (Sedan Rafaela, Brian Mata, Marcelo Mayer, among others) is poised to join them in the coming years. They also face a possible departure of a franchise cornerstone in Xander Bogarts, who as of the start of the weekend (according to sources familiar with the negotiations) has not appeared close to a deal that would prevent him from pulling out of the remaining three years of his $120 million deal for two years. Six years old, plus JD Martinez and Nate Eovaldi.

Bloom and Red Sox’s front desk are free to pursue very different deals than they have been for the past three years.

Referring to the organization’s sense of needing to trade Mookie Betts (in a bundle with David Price) for Alex Verdugo and potential prospects Jeter Downs and Connor Wong in an effort to free up payroll and begin building the team’s young talent base, Blum said. “Obviously, not everything has gone well, as the 2022 season shows. But we have a lot of different ways you can look into the future and see us play baseball for a long time. And we have the ability to go out and strengthen that group that we have.”

The Red Sox faces far-reaching needs. With the Bogaerts expected to withdraw, they have no short hiatus for next year. Their production abroad in 2022 was sad. The team’s two key players at the end of the season – Conor Wong and Rhys McGuire – both profile as backup, leaving the team in need of a start. Of course, the club’s pitch staff wasn’t enough last year, which created the need to add multiple arms to both the rotation and the bull.

The length of this checklist is daunting and will definitely determine what the team does this winter. But at least the team sees itself as having more freedom to pursue a wider range of transactions – whether that’s spreading an increasing number of possibilities to trade with top players or pursuing real deals from the best talent in the market.

“We’re going into an off-season where we’ll have more options ahead of us,” Bloom said. Some of this is due to the growing strength of the talent base in the organization. Some of that is due to having more financial flexibility than we have had in the past. Now, it obviously comes with a lot of needs and a lot of tasks. Everything goes together. But I think there are a lot of options that we’ll be able to consider that we’ll need to consider.”

However, it’s one thing to “think” about a wide variety of options, and order from a very different menu than the budget-conscious, low-calorie menu that has (outside the six-year, $140 million deal by Trevor Story) It is the first one used by Sox under Bloom.

The team traded only one chance in the Top 30 (Aldo Ramirez, who went to the Nationals on the deadline trade Kyle Schwarber in 2021 and threw 7 2/3 innings into the NATS system before rupturing the ulnar collateral ligament and ordering Tommy John surgery) and no one in the top 10 since Bloom came to Boston. Story is the only player the team has signed a guaranteed deal of over $20 million.

It was a cautious approach, focused on the idea of ​​long-term construction towards sustainability. Overall, the Sox have worked (not quite effectively, as the 2022 season showed) to raise the organizational floor, but they have made some moves to improve their roof.

For those outside the organization—particularly agents accustomed to having Sox under Dombrowski go after notable names in the market—it was a bewildering departure.

“It’s not manufacturing and efficiency. It has to be more than that,” one customer said. “At the end of the day, they have to look and say, ‘We’re Red Sox.’ They have to work like they’re Red Sox—period. You make big decisions. You are the Red Sox.”

what does that mean? Will they behave in such a way this winter that their expression of interest in retaining Bogart proves to be more than lip service, as their pledge to explore the higher end of the initial promotion market leads to a steady (or better) mid-turnover beginning, when they move aggressively in the trading market to address inefficiencies?

The Red Sox now has the opportunity to begin answering these untimely questions that will prove pivotal in Bloom’s Red Sox period.


Alex Speier can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at Tweet embed.