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Tomase: Chaim Bloom has only one course of action over the next week

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Chaim Bloom

Chaim Bloom is the James Webb telescope of baseball bosses: transfixed by the long view. His every move since joining the Red Sox has been with an eye to the future, or at the very least not compromising it.

It's hard to know exactly what potential galaxies Bloom spies swirling in distance, but nearly three years into his tenure, we know enough about him to recognize how he'd navigate the trade deadline if left to his own devices, and it's by wearing a sandwich board that simply reads: SELLER.

His Red Sox are broken, and not just because of injuries. They're plummeting in the playoff race at the exact moment they should be making a push, they've effectively lost Chris Sale for the rest of the season, and the next series they win against a division rival will incredibly be the first.

They're no longer a closer away from contention, not with Xander Bogaerts hampered by a sore shoulder that has sapped him of his power, Nathan Eovaldi exhibiting an equally concerning drop in velocity, and center fielder Kiké Hernández nowhere near returning.

The best-case scenario -- they drink a health potion and resume playing their .800 baseball of May -- also feels increasingly remote. Too much has gone wrong that shows no signs of abating before the Aug. 2 trade deadline, by which point the Red Sox could be looking up at the Mariners, Guardians, White Sox, and (gulp) Orioles in the race for the third AL wild card.

 

With decisions to make on a number of looming free agents and no reasonable path to World Series contention beyond hoping really hard, now is the time for Bloom to sell without reservation.

Catcher Christian Vazquez, DH J.D. Martinez, Eovaldi, and even Bogaerts should all be on the block over the next week. Fans will hate it, and I'll probably rip them for it in the moment, too, but that will be emotion talking.

If we take a clear-eyed view of the future, it's the only course of action Bloom should pursue. Marginal upgrades mean nothing to a flawed team and it's hard to envision Bloom parting with the prospects required to make major additions.

The Red Sox already know which potential free agents they might keep and which they're going to let walk. Judging by their initial offer to Bogaerts, which amounted to a one-year, $30 million extension, they do not view him as part of the future. We can disagree with that decision all we want -- and personally, I hate it -- but it is what it is. If he's gone, then see if he'll wave his no-trade clause and try to get something for him before he opts out in October.

If that's the path they've chosen, they may as well hit it with both feet and let Bloom do what he's wired to do best -- stare deep into space and chart a course for the future.

John Tomase on the Red Sox potentially being sellers at the MLB trade deadline

They should treat Eovaldi, Martinez, and Vazquez the same way. All three are set to hit free agency, and while maybe there's a path for Vazquez to return, the other two are almost certainly gone. Maximize their value now.

The unknown factor in all of this is owner John Henry. He hired Bloom to make the Red Sox more self-sustaining, and he has to like what he's seen so far. They slashed payroll and reached the American League Championship Series last year anyway. It is baseball's new way, with even the mighty Yankees and Dodgers prioritizing luxury tax discipline over shoot-the-moon gambits.

Henry has been here long enough, however, to recognize that fans will not take kindly to a fire sale. Plenty remain enraged about Boston jettisoning former MVP Mookie Betts, who has since won a World Series with the Dodgers. Imagine adding Bogaerts to that list, too? Rafael Devers would inevitably be next on the chopping block, at which point manager Alex Cora would be justified in questioning his desire to oversee a rebuild.

Papelbon takes aim at Bloom amid Devers and Bogaerts contract stalemates

Former CEO Larry Lucchino always preached the importance of marketing superstars in Boston, and it was hard to miss the juxtaposition on Sunday of the Red Sox fumbling away a third straight embarrassing loss to the Blue Jays while David Ortiz celebrated his Hall of Fame enshrinement in Cooperstown just a few hundred miles away.

 

Ortiz is the kind of player they once built around, a personality and run-producer who exerted his own gravitational force on the organization. Now they appear ready to embrace the draft-and-develop model with targeted strikes for lower-tier All-Stars like Trevor Story, but a reluctance to extend their own standouts once they're ready to earn big money.

If that's the path they've chosen, they may as well hit it with both feet and let Bloom do what he's wired to do best -- stare deep into space and chart a course for the future. They'll just want to brace for the impact of some asteroids along the way.