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Archive for August, 2022

Chaim Bloom Takes Action: Trading a Solid Catcher for 2 Cheap Players

Posted by athomeatfenway on August 2, 2022

Christian Vazquez has been traded for Emmanuel Valdez and Wilyer Abreu.  In doing so, the Sox save money.  They avoid paying Vazquez more since he’s soon a free agent.  (See James McCann, 4 years, $40 million.) They also signal a no-confidence judgement on the 2022 Sox team.

Abreu is a 23-year-old outfielder presently batting .249 with a .399 OBP for Corpus Christi.  He has 15 to 20 HR potential in the bushes.

Valdez is a 23-year-old infielder/outfielder hitting .356 with a .463 OBP for Corpus Christi, but whose minor league career stats include a .259 BA and a .338 OBP overall.  He’s a 20+ HR potential guy in the minors.

Unless these two players quickly become a lot better and do so above Double-A, it looks like we gave up true value for two question marks.  Vazquez’s slash is .282, 8 HR and 42 RBI, nice production from a backstop who also is good at stopping bad pitches.

Solid defensive catchers with decent pop who play 130+ games per season are rare.

Vazquez had/has fewer errors in 2021 and 2022 than Sean Murphy, the A’s gold glove catcher.

The Red Sox defensively rank only above the White Sox in errors made. We are #14 in a 15 team field.

Christian is making $7 million this year. (Source: Spotrac.) His nominal replacement, Reese McGuire, is earning $468,000.  The former White Sox will share duties with Kevin Plawecki, who makes $2.25 million.

McGuire is batting .225 and seems quite defensively adroit.  He allowed just 10 passed balls in 182 career games so far.

Looks like the Sox will save $2.4 million dollars on catchers this year due to these moves.  They likely aren’t paying Valdez and Abreu much either.

So, what did Chaim Bloom accomplish?

He depressed many fans.  Me included.

He broke up the family.  Christian was on Greenville, Portland and Pawtucket with guys like Bogaerts and JBJ, plus a slew of players that have moved on.

I followed former UConn Coach Jim Calhoun at a recent (2019, maybe) Travelers PGA Celebrity event.  Every so often I would ask Calhoun a Red Sox question between shots, knowing he was a devoted Sox fan.  At one point on the back 9, I told him that Christian Vazquez was underrated.  He spun to look at me and with total sincerity said, “That is absolutely right.  He’s very underrated.  People don’t know how good he is.”

The praise stems from Vazquez’s defense, character, commitment, steady offense, and the occasional ability to hit in the clutch.  I feel it.  Jim Calhoun feels it.

Sorry to see him go.

As mentioned earlier, the trade of Vazquez signals a lack of faith by the GM in this team.

If that’s not the case, then why on Earth did they trade away a puzzle piece that any contender requires.

Congrats on making a big deal for us, Chaim.

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What Chaim Bloom really said about Trade Deadline moves

Posted by athomeatfenway on August 1, 2022

Heading into the trade deadline, Chaim Bloom submitted to 21 minutes of questions on WEEI’s Greg Hill Show.  Bloom was a little evasive, elusive, frank, and non-committal in answering Greg Hill, Courtney Cox, Jermaine Wiggins and Rob Bradford.  Here’s an attempt to cut through the spin by summarizing what I heard — not verbatim — but reduced and paraphrased by me.

Greg: Just what is the problem with this talented Red Sox team’s horrible July performance?

There’s a lot of reasons for the poor performance. Defense is a problem. We’re inconsistent. We have not played well for long stretches.  Injuries are not the excuse.

Greg: How did the Cora-Bloom Dislike Each Other narrative originate?

No idea.  Not feeling it.  So much fun to work with him. Everyday.

Wiggy: What direction is the team headed in for the rest of season, including whether to buy or sell at trade deadline?

We’re exploring all trade options and are not committed directionally.  We have to look. But we have to factor in the recent losing. 43W-33L on June 30.  51W-52L on July 31.

Greg: What is the point is of developing good players from their roots, and then letting them walk?

I understand people are worried about losing our talent.  Nothing I can say matters until there is a deal in place to talk about.  The point is to win championships.

Courtney: Scott Boras said he’s going to talk directly to John Henry about Xander.  Have you been squeezed out of negotiations?

Don’t read too much into Scott’s comments about this.  Also, please know that I have no ego.

Wiggy: Do you look at long term contracts as justified if you get 5 good years in a 10-year scenario?

That depends. Each situation is complete. It’s about stats and character. You factor in the depth chart, the minors, the roster. I am not going to say what I think about long term contracts and if one often doesn’t get full value for the money.

Greg:  Are there any Red Sox players who are untradeable?

I can’t talk in those absolutes.  We aren’t planning on talking about Devers or Xander with any club.

Courtney: do you assign value to the stability & balance a player develops to the Boston environment after playing in it a while?

Yes, 100%

Rob: Can you guarantee Bogaerts will be a Red Sox on Aug. 3?

I think to make those guarantees is silly – but I can’t conceive of a set of circumstances that would see Bogaerts leave now.

Rob: Have you discussed Bogie and Boras giving up their 10/5 no-trade clause rights?

I wouldn’t tell you if I did.  But, no.

Wiggy: Is a player like Juan Soto being looked at?

We’d be silly not to do so.

Greg: Are you allowed to pay big money in pursuit of top players?

Yes, if it is the best move for us to make.

Greg: How do you relate to assigning a tag of Buyer or Seller to teams in the trade deadline context?

Viewing your self like that may cause you to miss an opportunity. In any deal players may both come and go.

Bloom’s comments left all doors open.  I won’t be surprised if J.D. and Xander are gone this week or if they are not.

My gut says that control is an important thing to Bloom.  A team can have superior control of a player, as with Kutter Crawford and Jarren Duran, potential free agents in 2028.  There is also reasonable control, as with Raffy Devers, who can go free agent in 2024. There is limited control, such as with Trevor Story, who will earn $134 million guaranteed for 2022 through 2027, but can be traded.

My gut also tells me if Bloom can engineer a talent improvement and lower the Sox $203 million payroll, he most certainly will do so.

To listen to the interview:

https://www.audacy.com/weei/authors/the-greg-hill-show

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