Think the Red Sox didn't do enough at the trade deadline? Look at it this way: Chaim Bloom just traded 20 percent of his active roster.
The Red Sox may not have dropped any blockbusters on Monday, but over the last week, Bloom began remaking the organization with a series of trades that addressed the only thing that matters -- the future.
Bloom had already traded closer Brandon Workman, setup man Heath Hembree, and first baseman Mitch Moreland for three prospects and a risk/reward starter when Monday began, and just moments before the 4 p.m. trade deadline, he snuck in two more deals, sending fourth outfielder Kevin Pillar to the Rockies for a player to be named and international bonus money, and left-hander John Osich to the Cubs for another player to be named.
For the price of three impending free agents and two replaceable relievers, Bloom added a starter with a big arm (Nick Pivetta), a Double-A pitching prospect with a ceiling that seems to be rising (Connor Seabold), a third baseman with intriguing raw power (Hudson Potts), a plus defender in center with excellent plate discipline (Jeisson Rosario), two PTBNLs, and bonus money.
What he didn't do was trade right-handed reliever Matt Barnes or catcher Christian Vazquez, probably his two most valuable assets on the block, but it's worth noting that Monday was just one step on the road to a rebuild.
That's still a pretty good start for an organization that must begin replenishing the farm system in order to build a base that eventually proves sustaining. For the time being, the only improvements in 2021 will come via free agency and trades, but with the luxury tax officially resetting and the Red Sox in a better position to spend than most clubs, there's no reason we should worry about a repeat of 2020 next season.
"The big picture goal here was to make sure that we were setting ourselves up to win consistently, to be able to compete for championships every year," Bloom said. "Obviously, this summer has shown we're certainly not there right now. It was a question of getting ourselves to a point where we can do that consistently and making sure that every move we consider, we're measuring up against that goal."
Added Bloom, ever the realist: "We still have a ways to go."
Judging the trade deadline as an endpoint instead of a waypoint is a mistake. The Red Sox will continue dealing this winter, for sure, which means Vazquez could still be moved. Maybe Bloom finds a deal he likes for Xander Bogaerts (though the franchise shortstop's no-trade protection kicks in on Sunday). Maybe he finds a take for Nathan Eovaldi or Andrew Benintendi.
After all, offered a chance to say he's committing to this current core, Bloom declined to take it.
"This group that's in here, especially those core players, have demonstrated what they're able to do and how they're able to help a team win," Bloom said. "We always felt we committed to them, it's just that you have to be open to opportunities to advance your organization."
So don't get too attached to anyone, Red Sox fans. This trade deadline was just the start.
"I think we've said this a lot of times, it's our goal to be competitive every year," Bloom said. "Again, we'll see what we're able to do between now and '21. I think there's a lot of things that didn't go our way this year. That if we were to run back this year, we'd hope we see ourselves with a better slate of results.
"We know we have our work cut out for us. We have every intention of putting ourselves in that position. We need to continue that work to make sure we can do it."