The Red Sox have had a lot of turnover, from the roster to the front office, since they last won a World Series in 2018. But even after Chaim Bloom’s wholesale shift in shaping the organization, Red Sox fans refuse to change with the times. The masses are furious and dejected at the performance of this 2022 team, especially during the month of July.
So, why is this?
The outlook of the Red Sox fanbase is continually negative. Boston fans have extremely short memories and are incredibly impatient. Yes, fans should want their team to win. That’s not the problem.
The problem is their refusal to focus on the organization as a whole. Their focus is narrowed strictly on the current record and performance of the Major League team. On the contrary, the focus of the Boston Red Sox goes far beyond the team that plays in Fenway Park. The Red Sox focus on the organization as a whole, with Chaim Bloom front and center in the change of the organization’s ideology.
The reason the Red Sox brought in someone like Chaim Bloom is because they want to be good every single year, not just one year every so often. To complete such a task takes time and patience. I said before 2021, and even during the 2020 season, that the true winning window for the Red Sox begins in 2024. We are only in 2022.
The Sox are on the right trajectory as an organization, and they need to continue their current upward trend in order to fulfill their destiny.
Now, you might ask how the Red Sox are on the right trajectory when they are worse than last year’s team. Before we get to that, let’s cover the first part of what I just said. The true window for winning for the Red Sox opens in 2024. I have stuck to that for almost 2 years now, and will continue to stick with that. But why 2024? The Sox were just two games away from making it to the World Series in 2021, so how can their window not even open for another season-and-a-half?
I say 2024 because I value the success of the organization, not just the MLB team. The goal is not limited to success at the MLB level, but all levels, including Triple-A, the Dominican Summer League, the Florida Complex League, and everything in between. You don’t need to be super in-depth on prospect knowledge to think like this, but you need to understand the state of the MLB team, the state of the farm system, and the overall state of the organization.
To me, an organization has four goals. When you reach all four goals, you will have a team that can win every single year for a decade, if not longer. Those four goals are:
- Build a good MLB team that can compete for championships.
- Acquire depth in Triple-A that can help the big league team in case of injury or poor performance.
- Develop good prospects who can become core pieces of your franchise.
- Build depth in the farm system for redundancy. Not every prospect pans out as expected. Even if a couple guys don’t pan out, organizational depth may very well result in a different prospect exceeding expectations. Additionally, having minor league depth is important so you can feel comfortable trading away assets (at the deadline or otherwise) and use your rich pipeline to “replace” the prospects you trade away.
This plan for sustained excellence cannot come to fruition overnight, but I think the Red Sox can accomplish all four of these goals by 2024. The Red Sox reached the first goal in 2021, but goals two through four are still works in progress.
This year, they appear to be coming up short of the first goal, but they are a lot closer to the second goal. For that matter, they are also a hell of a lot closer to the third and fourth goals. They are moving in the right direction as an organization even though the Major League team has performed worse than they did in 2021.
Now, let’s dive into what I mean when I say the “true winning window.” The true winning window comes when you have an established core of proven Major League players that you can supplement with prospects who can fill in the holes on the big club. In 2024, the Red Sox could potentially have an offensive core of Bogaerts, Devers, Story, Verdugo, and Duran. The prospects that could be added to that mix include Triston Casas, Nick Yorke, Marcelo Mayer, and Ceddanne Rafaela.
The pitching core of Chris Sale, Garrett Whitlock, Tanner Houck, and Nick Pivetta could be supplemented with Brayan Bello, Josh Winckowski, Brandon Walter, Chris Murphy, and Bryan Mata.
Mayer and Yorke are projected to hit the big leagues in 2024, with Casas, Bello, and Winckowski likely to be over a year into their big league careers. It is certainly true that not every prospect pans out, which is why it is so important to build a deep farm system without trading away any high-value pieces for a two-month rental before the window has begun.
This doesn’t even include any free agent signings or trades that the team could make before that time. And yes, Chaim Bloom will eventually spend money. We all need to remember that the Red Sox have all the bad Dombrowski contracts still stuck on the books. Most of those contracts are wiped clean after this year, freeing up money to either acquire a couple players they need, or free up money to resign free agents such as Xander Bogaerts or the indispensable Rafael Devers.
The reality is that the Red Sox don’t want to win one year just to begin another 5+ year rebuild aimed at another single championship. They want to have a chance to win every single year, and they know they need the entire organization in peak form to do that. They are building the core for 2024 right now, after which they will add prospects to that core who will be the future core for the next crop of prospects.
Look at the success the Dodgers have had over the last decade under Andrew Friedman. Guess where they hired him from.
The Tampa Bay Rays. Just like the Red Sox hired Chaim Bloom from the Rays.
The Dodgers are the perfect model to build off of and, if possible, improve. They built a good MLB team, accumulated depth, developed top prospects, and cultivated a deep farm system. The Dodgers reached all four of the goals I stated earlier. That’s why they are so good every single year. That should be the aim for the Red Sox. At a minimum, they should be able to make the playoffs every single year. But they need to build up to that in order to accomplish it.
Here’s one more painful truth: it will be ok if Bogaerts leaves this offseason.
It’s not the end of the world. It’s not ideal either, but there are worse situations. There will be other shortstops on the market, and the Red Sox have Marcelo Mayer coming through the pipeline with Jeter Downs putting in a couple nice games at the MLB level in the last week or so. And the Sox can’t force Bogaerts or anyone else to sign a contract. They player has to want to sign it too. The Sox shouldn’t just throw all the long-term money in the world at Bogaerts without weighing the future consequences.
The Red Sox front office will have a lot of big decisions this offseason. Those decisions, big and small, will help decide the future of the Red Sox. I’d put my money on Chaim Bloom making the right moves for the organization this offseason and continuing on the right path to reach all four goals.