A Retrospective Into Chaim Bloom's First Year as GM

Chaim Bloom was hired to be the Red Sox General Manager on October 25, 2019. Today I’ll be reviewing each of his transactions as GM, draft included, and grade each one.

10/31: Josh Osich Claimed Off Waivers from the Chicago White Sox

8/31: Josh Osich traded to the Chicago Cubs for a PTBNL

Grade: B: Lumping these two together, because really the claim only worked because Osich was traded. Osich didn’t pitch particularly well for the Sox, and the claim didn’t seem to have panned out. For some reason, the Cubs had interest in Osich and Bloom being able to trade him for anything at all saves this transaction. The grade is made up for the fact that Osich was traded at all, really regardless of return.

12/02: Sandy Leon traded to the Cleveland Indians for Adenys Bautista

Grade: C+: Sandy didn’t really have a place on the Sox for this season, considering he was making more than his worth. Being able to get something for him looks good, although the return isn’t great, as Bautista is a 22 year old stuck in Rookie Ball with pretty poor peripherals.

12/12: Drafted Jonathan Arauz in the Rule V Draft

Grade: B+: Arauz was one of the youngest players in the MLB this year, and his play showed it. He flashed plenty with his hit tool and defense, but really never barrelled many balls and seemed out of place at times. Still, it’s hard to not be at least a little excited with the growth potential of Arauz, who had been above AA before.

12/13: Signed Jose Peraza to a 1 year, $3 million deal

Grade: C-: This one didn’t quite pan out of Bloom, as despite Peraza’s hot start at the plate, he tailed off fast and soon lost his starting job, and subsequently his spot on the roster. Still only 26 and arbitration eligible, I would expect Peraza to be non tendered this offseason.

12/19: Signed Martin Perez to a 1 year, $6 million deal, with a $6.25 team option for year 2 with a $500k buyout

Grade: B+: Another transaction that seemed to pan out fairly well, Perez certainly exceeded expectations following a few rough years with the Rangers and Twins. While he’ll never be a peripherals darling, Perez provided serviceable innings and solidified a starting rotation full of injuries. He should have a place on the Sox next year.

12/20: Claimed Chris Mazz off waivers from the New York Mets

Grade: B+: I may be Chris Mazza’s biggest fan, but I thought, all things considered, he actually pitched pretty well when called upon in relief or to start. Not everything went smoothly, and he certainly wasn’t perfect, but to get 6 starts and 30 innings out of a waiver claim shows that the organization at least has a solid depth arm on its hands.

1/02: Signed Kevin Plawecki to a 1 year, $900k deal

Grade: A: In a shocking twist I’m sure everyone saw coming, Kevin Plawecki hit .341 this season. While I doubt he ever comes close again, Plawecki proved himself worthy of being Vazquez’ backup for the next season or two.

1/10: Traded Angeudis Santos to the Miami Marlins for Austin Brice

Grade: C: While the Sox didn’t give up much for Brice, on the other end they didn’t get much out of Brice. His strikeout numbers went up and his stuff looked decent, but he walked too many batters and gave up far too many home runs. We’ll see if he’s on the 40 man by next season.

1/15: Traded Sam Travis to the Texas Rangers for Jeffrey Springs

Grade: B-: This one is tough because Springs pitched extremely poorly this year. However, Travis was out of shots with the Sox and getting lefty with good strikeout numbers always seems nice. It may be harsh, but I always looked to Springs as the guy the team would use if they were trying to lose a game. Overall, he had a few terrible outings surrounding a few not so terrible outings.

1/17: Traded Jhon Nunez to the Detroit Tigers for Matt Hall

Grade: C: A lefty with a big curveball and high spin rates, Hall certainly seemed to have some untapped potential in him. He did not deliver. Hall was pretty rough this year and I doubt he’s ever more than organizational depth. The saving grace is that Nunez is a bit of a non-prospect himself.

1/21: Traded Travis Lakins to the Chicago Cubs for Jhonny Pereda

Grade: D: A trade I disliked at the time, it looks even worse now, albeit for the Cubs as well, as Lakins put up good numbers for the Orioles. Considering all the guys the Sox threw out there this year, they could’ve used Lakins as well.

1/28: Resigned Mitch Moreland to a 1 year, $2.5 million deal with a $3 million team option with a $500k buyout

Grade: A+: Not only was Mitchy Two-Bags a consummate professional during his time here in Boston, he was a champion. So much has been said about the type of guy he was, and to get the type of production they did out of him was great. Even better, they were able to get two prospects from San Diego (more on that later) in August.

2/10: Traded Mookie Betts, David Price and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Alex Verdugo, Connor Wong and Jeter Downs

Grade: N/A: There’s not much to be said about a trade that’s been written about so much since it happened. Clearly in terms of baseball product this trade is a loss, and yet at the same time is a win. Verdugo was great for the Sox and infused a lot of energy into a losing season. Downs is a fantastic prospect who can lock down second base for years to come. And Wong has the makings of an MLB catcher, albeit probably as a backup. There are so many other factors that initiated this trade that it makes it impossible to grade really, at least for myself.

2/14: Signed Kevin Pillar to a 1 year, $4.25 million deal

Grade: A-: Pillar was pretty good during his time in Boston, providing solid defense and a surprisingly decent bat. While he could never replace Mookie in right, he solidified the outfield somewhat. Factoring in the trade, and the contract was worth it.

2/23: Claimed Phillips Valdez off waivers from the Seattle Mariners

Grade: A: If Bloom missed on his trade of Lakins, he hit on the claim of Valdez. For most of the year, Valdez was really good, and while he tailed off a bit at the end his year overall was good. Bloom seems to have found a possible middle reliever in Valdez.

3/05: Signed Collin McHugh to a 1 year, $600k deal

Grade: N/A: McHugh was hurt when he signed, and later opted out of the season due to Covid concerns. He showed plenty with the Astros, and there may still be a place for him on the roster.

6/10-6/11: Selected Nick Yorke, Blaze Jordan, Jeremy Wu-Yelland, Shane Drohan in the 2020 MLB Draft

Grade: B: Yorke was a surprise selection, although Bloom states that he would have been rated higher had there been a high school season. Jordan brings major upside, but the defense and hit tools are real question marks. Wu-Yelland seems to be a safe relief pick, while Drohan has some upside and a chance to stick as a starter.

7/21: Traded for Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Dylan Covey

Grade: C: Covey had good peripherals, and bad raw numbers. He gave the team a few innings, and wasn’t great doing so. The compensation for this trade is unknown, although I doubt it was anything more than maybe cash considerations. This trade was about as nonconsequential as one can be.

7/25: Claimed Stephen Gonsalves off waivers from the New York Mets

Grade: N/A: Gonsalves didn’t pitch for the Sox and to this date hasn’t fulfilled any of the promise he showed as a prospect with the Twins.

7/27: Claimed Robert Stock off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies

Grade: B: Stock has a big arm and throws hard. He looked decent with the Sox, and I could see him sticking with the organization in some capacity going forwards.

8/13: Claimed Christian Arroyo off waivers from the Cleveland Indians

Grade: A-: This one is super surprising, as Arroyo, a former top prospect, had never gotten going anywhere. I felt that CJ Chatham was going to make an appearance this season, but with Arroyo performing the way he did, both with the bat and the glove, the organization really may have found a backup infielder.

8/19: Claimed Andrew Triggs off waivers from the San Francisco Giants

Grade: D: Triggs was not very good for the Sox and I doubt we see him here again.

8/21: Traded Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to the Philadelphia Phillies for Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold

Grade: A: Workman was an upcoming free agent, and Hembree never got out of his middle relief role. Getting two potential starters is an absolute haul, and Pivetta looked good in his late season starts.

8/30: Traded Mitch Moreland to the San Diego Padres for Hudson Potts and Jeisson Rosario

Grade: A+: The Red Sox made out like bandits in this trade, and while both the lineup and clubhouse will miss Moreland moving forwards, he didn’t quite fit the timeline, and with Dalbec, Chavis and eventually Triston Casas looking at first base, there weren’t going to be enough at bats moving forwards. Due to a roster crunch, the Padres were forced to off two prospects that maybe were a bit above a trade for Moreland, and as such Bloom won this trade. One of the biggest factors of this trade was the ability to get Bobby Dalbec on the roster and in the lineup, and watching him deliver makes it all more worth it.

8/31: Traded Kevin Pillar to the Rockies for Jacob Wallace

Grade: A-: The trade of a rental, especially a mid tier piece such as Pillar, was never going to net the Sox much. However, Jacob Wallace totes an active arm and is a local kid. Pillar played well for the Sox, and brought back a nice return. Personally, I was looking at getting Riley Pint in this trade because I felt the return would be a lottery ticket no matter what, but I don’t at all mind going for a safer route in someone like Wallace.

9/03: Claimed Deivy Grullon off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies

Grade: C+: Grullon is a former higher tier prospect who never really panned out with the Phillies. He could fill a role with the club as a third option catcher in some form.

Overall: Saddled with a high payroll and a ton of injuries once the year started, Bloom overall made the most of many of his waiver claims, without too many slip ups. The draft seems solid and added a lot of offensive potential to the system, with a few pitching fliers as well. Where Bloom really made his money, however, was at the Trade Deadline, where he knocked it out of the park with his three trades. Swapping out Workman, Hembree, Moreland and Pillar for 4 prospects and one MLB ready pitcher is a steal all the way around, especially considering the players he dealt. An extremely important part of the transactions that I did not list were the minor league signings, as the sheer amount would take up too much space. However, even here Bloom found value, most notably in Yairo Munoz who has years of control left. It’s tough to give a final grade on an entire year’s worth of transactions, but I’ll give it a shot. I give Bloom a B+ for what he accomplished this season, and I’m looking forward to the next few years.

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