(Photo Courtesy of Yahoo Sports) “Red Sox fire chief of baseball operations Chaim Bloom”
Just an hour before the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader against the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox announced the firing of Chief Baseball Officer, Chaim Bloom.
Bloom, 40, was hired by the Red Sox following the 2019 season. He immediately made an impression on fans by trading franchise icon Mookie Betts to the Dodgers, in a deal that largely served to save the team money by getting rid of David Price’s albatross contract.
In a twist of irony, Bloom’s predecessor, Dave Dombrowski, was also fired during a mid-September series against the Yankees.
In a statement released Thursday, Red Sox owner John Henry wrote that “today signals a new direction for our club.” While Bloom did an excellent job of revamping the team’s minor league system (which went from last in MLB to 5th during Bloom’s tenure), Henry and CEO Sam Kennedy were left disappointed with the amount of success at the Major League level.
In both the shortened 2020 season and 2022, the Red Sox finished last in the American League East, and the team was in last again at the time of Bloom’s firing. While the team did reach the American League Championship Series in 2021, they were hit hard by injuries in each of the following seasons, while Bloom did not do much to fortify a struggling pitching staff.
Bloom’s tenure in Boston began on an awkward note. Just two months into Bloom’s tenure, manager Alex Cora was implicated in an illegal sign-stealing system during his time as a coach in Houston and was forced to resign just weeks before spring training.
Less than a month later, Bloom traded franchise icon Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for outfielder Alex Verdugo and two prospects rather than offer him a contract extension.
In the 2021-22 offseason, Bloom made two controversial moves which began to turn Red Sox fans against him.
On November 30, 2021, just minutes before MLB owners imposed a lockout on players, Bloom traded Hunter Renfroe, who had a career year in 2021, to Milwaukee for Jackie Bradley, Jr., who was released by the team in early August after batting just .210 with three home runs in 91 games.
Bloom also acquired two prospects, Alex Binelas and David Hamilton, in the deal. Binelas currently has a .229 lifetime batting average in the minor leagues, while Hamilton has reached MLB this season but looks lost defensively.
In March of 2022, Bloom signed free agent infielder Trevor Story to a huge contract, despite concerns about the health of Story’s throwing arm. Story appeared in just 94 games in 2022, missing time with two injuries, and was out until mid-August this year after having surgery on his throwing elbow.
The Story signing was especially controversial as it eventually led Bloom to lose another franchise icon, when Xander Bogaerts signed with the San Diego Padres last winter.
With Bogaerts gone and Story hurt, Cora, who returned to the team in 2021, was forced to start Kiké Hernandez, normally a center fielder, at shortstop for the majority of the year. Hernandez made 14 errors at shortstop in 2023, and was traded to the Dodgers in late July.
Despite Bloom’s difficulties in finding Major League talent, he did completely rebuild the team’s minor league system. Under Bloom, the Red Sox acquired prospects such as Connor Wong, Marcelo Mayer, Wilyer Abreu and Mikey Romero, among others. By 2027, the majority of the Red Sox lineup could very well be made up of players who were drafted during the Bloom era.
In a statement released on Friday, Bloom thanked Red Sox fans for their dedication, and expressed regret that he will not be in Boston to see these prospects pan out.
“Great things are in store for the Red Sox. And while I’m sad that I won’t be watching them from the same chair, I will still be very proud,” said Bloom.
The next person to lead the Red Sox baseball operations department will face an uphill climb, with new pitching desperately needed. But at least they will have a solid farm system to start with, and Bloom’s legacy should be felt in Boston for years to come.