Updated: Sep 20, 2022
The Boston Red Sox remain a team in turmoil after their most recent game, at the time of writing, a 9-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals. This most recent loss brings their record to 70-75, keeping them in last place in the AL East. To say this season has been disappointing would be an understatement, especially considering last year, when the Red Sox finished with a record of 92-70, good enough for second place in the AL East.
Fans assumed the team would only improve, especially after several notable signings in the offseason, such as shortstop/second baseman Trevor Story. However, this could not be further from the truth, as Story has battled several injuries and even illness over the course of the season, which has impacted his performance and limited his time on the field severely. Story’s signing also has been overshadowed by the fact that the organization has yet to sign fellow shortstop Xander Bogaerts, and third baseman Rafael Devers to new contracts.
Many fans will see this situation as the Red Sox poorly managing their finances, especially given the admiration for both Devers and Bogaerts within the fan base.
Bogaerts can opt out of his contract at the end of 2022, and it’s safe to say that a more lucrative deal, as well as the opportunity to win could bring him to a new team in 2023. Devers on the other hand, is set to hit free agency in 2024. This will leave Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom with many questions to answer, and several key decisions to be made.
Will Bogaerts remain in Boston, especially given that the team already has his replacement in Story, whom they gave a 6 year, 140-million-dollar contract? Will Devers finally be given the extension that he and fans have desperately craved over the course of the season? If “no” is the answer to both questions, then Boston fans will surely turn on Bloom, something that has already happened if social media comments give any indication. It’s likely Red Sox fans agree that both Bogaerts and Devers should’ve both been under contract for years to come much earlier in the season. Some fans may even share the opinion that Bogaerts and Devers’ demands should be met no matter what, especially given the fact that they are two of Boston’s best players and have been for some time.
However, there may be a method to the madness, as the money not being used on Devers and Bogaerts could be used to attract one of baseball’s biggest stars, Aaron Judge. The AL MVP candidate and current New York Yankee is set to become a free agent in 2023 and could demand a contract worth upwards of $300 million dollars. Rumors have often circled regarding bringing Judge to the Red Sox, especially after a photo surfaced on the internet of a young Judge sporting a Red Sox shirt. Judge himself has not exactly made much effort to squash these rumors either. After being asked recently by a reporter on the prospect of joining the Red Sox, Judge simply smiled and said, “We’ll talk about that at the end of the year.”
This may sound amazing in theory, but nothing is for certain. Even if Judge comes to Boston, much like Story, success is not guaranteed. Injuries and poor performances will always be a possibility. This begs the question, is Bloom willing to gamble on the potential of losing two of his biggest stars only to become known as the man that brought a Yankee to Fenway Park, gave him a giant contract, all for him to wind up a failure?
Remember, this is the same man who absolutely gutted the 2018 World Series winning team by trading away arguably its two best players in Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, and the return package for both of those deals could be considered subpar at best.
Team President Sam Kennedy has been quoted as saying he is “very comfortable” with Bloom returning to the team next season. But this doesn’t change his position on the hot seat in the eyes of fans. Is history repeating itself, first with Betts and Benintendi and now with Bogaerts and Devers, or will there be a new era in Boston Red Sox history? Will Bloom become, or is he already the most hated man in the organization? Only time will tell, but for now, the future's not bright in Fenway.