Mazz: Are the Red Sox worth the effort anymore?

Is Bloom the next Epstein – or at least something far closer to it than Ben Cherington or Dave Dombrowski? Maybe. Let’s hope so. Because while the Red Sox actually have won one more title than Epstein since his departure, they’ve lived an elevator existence that has brought their fan base to the exhaustive point of emotional detachment. At the end of the day, they’re just getting too hard to live with anymore.

Mazz: The Chaim Bloom Era? It's off to a boring start

If you’re looking for any sort of narrative on the Chaim Bloom Era so far, this is it: he hasn’t exactly come out guns blazing. Bloom’s moves as Red Sox GM thus far have been small, conservative and boring … which is precisely what you’d expect from a team like, say, the Tampa Bay Rays. Whether those kinds of deals can pass muster in Boston over the longer term remains to be seen, particularly if the Red Sox remain relatively invisible on the Boston sports landscape.

Mazz: The Chaim Bloom Era starts now

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.

Mazz: Now in contention for No. 1 pick, Red Sox should tank

The Red Sox are a mess, folks. And there are no simple fixes here. Even if Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez come back healthy next year, the Red Sox are woefully short on young talent overall and young pitching, in particular. The best way to get it is through the draft, which brings us back to the idea of tanking, whether you want to call it that or not.

Mazz: The one question the Red Sox still haven't answered

If the Red Sox knew they had to be under the luxury tax threshold as far back as the fall of 2018, why did ownership “green-light” the combined $213 million signings ($43 million annually in luxury tax) of Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi, two pitchers with histories of breaking down?

Mazz: The real story of this trade? It's not about Mookie Betts - it's about Chaim Bloom

Does Chaim Bloom really know what he is doing? Did the Red Sox get even remotely decent value for Mookie, even if Betts did have just one year remaining on his contract? Are the Red Sox merely cycling through another GM (and manager) since the departure of Theo Epstein (and Terry Francona), or are they actually building something again with a longer-term, more sustainable model?

Mazz: Cora has Red Sox, Henry, Bloom backed into a corner

Obviously, there’s a lot to address here, particularly as the Red Sox look to shed payroll under a first-time general manager who must think he just bought a ticket on the Hindenburg. David Price is chronically unhappy. Mookie Betts probably wants out. Your $80 million starting rotation remains an unknown and your manager is in the eye of a historic cheating scandal.

Mazz: Has John Henry Had His Sights Set On Andrew Friedman All Along?

Know what I think? I think the Red Sox knew a year ago – or more – that Friedman was entering the final year of his contract and that he might want to come to Boston. Heck, they probably talked to him – or someone close to him – while the Red Sox were cleaning up on the Dodgers in the 2018 World Series. And that is probably why Friedman hasn’t agreed to new terms with the Dodgers.