By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub
The best comparison we have, in all honesty, is 2012, when the Red Sox thought they could contend or compete – whatever term you prefer – with Bobby Valentine as manager. Naturally, they self-destructed and sold off big pieces at the trade deadline, which all but signaled at least some kind of organizational rebuild.
They ended up winning the World Series in 2013, but don’t kid yourselves. That was a fluke and isn’t likely to happy again. The Sox finished last again in 2014 and 2015, the unquestionable dark ages of the John Henry Era.
There’s no way to know if this will be the same, shorter or longer – let’s all hope for shorter – but it’s going to be a while.
In case you missed it, Red Sox CBO – that’s Chief Baseball Officer – Chaim Bloom conducted a cyberconference with members of the media two days ago. And when Bloom as asked by Boston Globe reporter Alex Speier whether he was confident he could both rebuild and have the Red Sox at a competitive level in 2021, well, here’s what Bloom said:
“I don’t think it’s wise for us to put timetables on those things. A lot of the time, when you start to get cute and try to sync those things up and think you can predict the timetable exactly, you end up doing things that are counter to what your objectives were in the first place.
“You have to keep the big picture in mind. If that’s behind everything we do, we might find that things come together more quickly than people might expect. I wouldn’t try to put a timetable on that. I think we have to make sure we’re assessing our options and potential moves in light of what we’re trying to accomplish overall.”
Translation: it’s going to be a while.
And everyone knows it.
Looking back, this wasn’t just the cost of hiring Dave Dombrowski. It was also the cost of the Chris Sale trade. One year after signing David Price to a $217 million contract, the Red Sox went for broke and traded two top prospects for Sale, whom they ultimately signed to a $145 million contract. In all, factoring in ripple effects, those moves won the Red Sox a world title … but also cost them $362 million, Michael Kopech, Yoan Moncada and, to a degree, Mookie Betts.
Talk about selling out for a championship.
Are they this bad? No. But they’re not going to be championship-caliber for a while, either. And Bloom knows it. So do Henry and everyone else in the organization. They’re just not going to say it because they still want you to pay attention. But the upcoming free agent market stinks for starting pitching and the Red Sox are in no real position to deal prospects, which leaves Bloom with decidedly few options.
If you want the good news, here it is: there’s a chance – a chance – the Red Sox could at least slightly accelerate the process as we approach the major league trading deadline in the next 10 days. Dealing Jackie Bradley is a no-brainer. After that, if Bloom can find a deal that brings back some decent pitching – and we emphasize decent – that could speed up the process a whisker, so be it. But there are no quick fixes.
Here’s the point, people: the Bloom era is about to start now. Everything up to now really hasn’t been his doing. And we’re going to find out whether he’s truly fit for the challenge.
After all, he clearly has a lot of work to do.