The Red Sox introduced new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom yesterday, with Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald and Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe among those to cover the proceedings. With Brian O’Halloran rising to become GM, the top leadership is set. But how did the team settle on this arrangement and what does it mean for the rest of the baseball ops department?
President Sam Kennedy, chairman Tom Werner, and principal owner John Henry all addressed the matter, as did Bloom. The picture painted was of a hiring search that increasingly became a coronation.
While the Boston club started out looking at about twenty possible candidates to replace Dave Dombrowski, it recognized that many roads were leading to Bloom. It was a bit of a risk, Kennedy acknowledged, but the club focused on the key Rays executive even before sitting down with him.
There certainly was an interview process, with Bloom convincing the Red Sox of the merits of their intuitions. As Henry explains it, the team “felt he was the right candidate before we met with him” and left everyone with precisely that belief after a lengthy two-day process that involved a number of one-on-one meetings with key organization personnel.
Clearly, Bloom and upper management were on the same page — and not just on his general baseball acumen and lauded people skills. Both Kennedy and Bloom hit upon the same theme. The former says that Sox fans “want” and “deserve” a “sustainable baseball organization;” the latter cited a desire “to build as strong of an organization as possible in all aspects so that we can have sustained long-term success and compete for championships year in and year out.” While there’s no disputing the desirability of putting out a good product every year, Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports rightly points out that the concept of sustainability is en vogue leaguewide as something of a euphemism for profit-minded salary management. The Red Sox have not been shy about stating a desire to draw down their spending levels.
Bloom wasn’t brought in to sit atop the existing leadership so much as to integrate within and lead it. Henry said that his initial inclination to pursue a heavily experienced baseball ops manager began to shift as he watched the club’s four-person interim team operate. “I don’t think anybody thought we were going to be interviewing No. 2’s, or people that had not been at least a general manager,” said Henry. “But because they were so strong, we decided that we should have somebody who can compliment them and lead the department.”
The precise stucture is still being sorted. Brian O’Halloran has been elevated to the GM seat, so he’ll be Bloom’s number two. But the exact arrangement on the next tier isn’t clear. Raquel Ferreira, Eddie Romero, and Zack Scott joined O’Halloran in filling in bridging from Dombrowski to Bloom. They’ll all remain in key roles, though at least one could still be on the move, as Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports. That’s not due to any known acrimony, but a hiring opportunity. Henry did not specify which person was actively under consideration elsewhere, but did make clear one of those three is interviewing for a position with another club.