Of all the worries Red Sox fans might have over the next month, Chaim Bloom sitting out the trade deadline shouldn't be one of them.
Since the Red Sox haven't opened their wallets as an organization since Bloom arrived in the fall of 2019, there's a narrative forming that they have no plans to spend between now and the July 30 MLB trade deadline.
"Spending," whatever that means in the context of late July, is a red herring. There are plenty of ways to upgrade the roster without breaking the bank, and what matters more in the end -- making a splash or making a difference?
To see this principle in action, look no further than the current Red Sox roster. Without spending more than $14 million on anyone, Bloom added a number of contributors to what has emerged as the best team in the American League.
Kiké Hernández, Hunter Renfroe, Marwin Gonzalez, and the Garretts -- Richards and Whitlock -- didn't much move the needle when it came to buzz, but they've impacted winning. Same goes for the fruits of last year's trade deadline, which also could've been characterized as underwhelming, in right-hander Nick Pivetta and second baseman Christian Arroyo.
Appearing Monday night on NBC Sports Boston's Talkin' Baseball, Bloom made it clear that there's always room to improve.
"We're obviously pleased with the depth that we've been able to build, but I don't think you ever have enough and I certainly don't think we're at the point where we have enough right now," Bloom said. "We are having a very good year, obviously we've got a lot of talent on our roster. We're not so stacked that there isn't going to be room for talented, major league-ready players."
If we've learned anything about Bloom since he took the job, it's that he doesn't believe in stasis. Of the 47 players who appeared in the big leagues in 2019, only 15 remain in the organization, and that includes Brandon Workman, who was traded away and then reclaimed.
Maintaining the status quo helped cost predecessor Dave Dombrowski his job, but that's never going to be an issue for Bloom, who's the intellectual version of the kid that can't sit still. There are always ways to better the club, whether it's finding a left-handed hitting first baseman, acquiring another arm for the bullpen, or adding a swingman to the rotation. Depending on the readiness of prospect Jarren Duran, an outfielder could also be on the agenda.
On top of that, the team's 40-man roster could suddenly get crowded this fall, and pruning now could improve the team in the short term while avoiding a roster crunch in two months, when prospects like Jeter Downs, Brayan Bello, Josh Winckowski, and Durbin Feltman must be added to the 40-man or risk being exposed in the rule 5 draft.
So there's incentive to add pieces, as well as to move prospects. It's hard to imagine Bloom not using one of those issues to address the other. He'll almost certainly try to add pieces for the future, too, a la Theo Epstein acquiring 4-A catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the Rangers in 2010 and then watching him blossom into a World Series starter three years later.
"I think the important thing is just to stay true to the goals that got us to this place where we're trying to win as many championships as we can," Bloom said. "This year's a big part of that, so we want to do everything we can to help this year's group. You've seen it on the field. I mean, not only have we had a lot of success, but it's a group that believes in itself and is a whole heck of a lot of fun to watch. When you have that legitimate shot at a championship, you want to do everything you can to support it."
Small moves can make giant impacts. One need only look back to the 2018 trade deadline to see how Dombrowski cemented a title with a pair of deals that seemed minor, first acquiring eventual World Series MVP Steve Pearce from the Orioles to address a lack of right-handed punch at first base, and then adding Nathan Eovaldi from the Rays as a swingman who became a postseason hero.
It is in Bloom's DNA to be active. Last year's Red Sox made four trades at the deadline, picked up Arroyo on waivers, and released veterans Brian Johnson and Marco Hernandez. During his final year in Tampa, the 96-win Rays made 10 trades in July, including one that landed lights-out reliever Nick Anderson.
So with all due respect to the ideas of, "They won't spend!' and "They're just Tampa north!" I'd simply say, please. Bloom may not blow anyone's doors off this month, but he'll make moves, because it's what he does.
There won't be any point in grading them until October.