Red Sox

In Chaim Bloom hire, Red Sox ownership returns to its original vision

Red Sox

Dave Dombrowski helped build one of the greatest teams in major league history, period.

He also represented an aberration of sorts for a Boston Red Sox ownership group that returned to course Monday while announcing the hire of Chaim Bloom as its chief baseball officer.

"I think (Bloom) is closer to the executive they were trying to develop in Ben Cherington, and what they had with Theo (Epstein)," former New York Mets general manager Jim Duquette told NBC Sports Boston.

"This is what I believe the Red Sox had in mind basically when this new ownership took over."

To Duquette's point: Principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner have hired four heads of baseball operations since purchasing the team in 2001. Three were Ivy-educated (Epstein and Bloom attended Yale; Cherington attended Amherst College before going on to Harvard Business School) and well shy of 40.

The other was Dombrowski.

Again: The results paid off with Dombrowski. The combined disaster of the 2014 and 2015 campaigns led Henry and Co. to cut bait with Cherington and enter "win now" mode by hiring Dombrowski, who lived up to his billing by gutting the farm system Cherington cultivated to produce a winner in 2018.

But Dombrowski was a mercenary, and with the transaction of a World Series title complete, the Red Sox seemed eager to turn the page Monday.

"I would just say we were extremely desirous of bringing in someone who would augment and add as opposed to just bringing in someone who might have been an autocrat, for instance, a one-man show," Henry said at Monday's press conference.

 

That's a pretty clear distinction between what the Red Sox had in Dombrowski and what the Red Sox are getting in Bloom, whom Duquette describes as a collaborative leader who's simply "an easy guy to talk to."

Personal traits notwithstanding, the Boston brass also is counting on Bloom to rebuild its barren farm system and attempt to recreate the model of sustainable success that Epstein established almost two decades ago.

"What is the fabric of your organization? What are you trying to build?" Duquette said. "I think that’s what the Red Sox are trying to accomplish: win, but also develop and establish a core group."

Bloom is well-suited for that task coming from the Tampa Bay Rays, where he helped build a solid foundation with a (very) limited budget as vice president of baseball operations.

Not that it's an easy task. The 36-year-old has several looming problems to address, most notably whether to trade superstar outfielder Mookie Betts before he becomes an unrestricted free agent after next season and whether to re-sign slugger J.D. Martinez, especially if he opts out of his current contract.

Oh, and he'll face a bit more scrutiny in Boston than he did in Tampa.

"This fan base knows the 25th through the 40th man on the roster. They know what he looks like," Duquette added. "Chaim’s dinner reservations? They're going to change for him."

Bloom clearly is what the Red Sox envision in their head of baseball operations, though. So, he should feel pretty comfortable making those reservations.

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