With the offseason now firmly underway, let’s survey the baseball landscape with a few brief Saturday notes…
- For Red Sox fans eager to gain an inkling as to how their team’s front office might behave under new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, it might be worth reading Jen McCaffrey’s latest work for The Athletic, in which she uses Tampa Bay’s moves in 2019 as a blueprint for how Bloom might operate in Boston. The Rays, of course, overcame one of baseball’s smallest payrolls and took the Astros to five games in the ALDS, while the Red Sox missed out on the postseason entirely despite a comparatively astronomical payroll. Boston can expect Bloom to deploy many of the same strategies that brought success to Tampa, though he’ll of course have a greater bank of resources at his disposal. One might liken Bloom to the Dodgers’ Andrew Friedman, another former Rays exec who inherited a big-market budget when he was hired to spearhead the Dodgers’ baseball operations.
- A flurry of teams sent scouts to watch Kwang-hyun Kim of the KBO’s SK Wyverns, according to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO. Scouts from more than ten teams—including the Padres, Twins, and Dodgers, among others—were recently spotted at one of Kim’s games. Though he hasn’t yet been posted, Kim has expressed his desire to play in the Majors in 2020, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who also reports that his club is “weighing its options” regarding Kim’s posting. A 31-year-old lefty, Kim logged a 2.51 ERA in 190 1/3 innings of work in the 2019 KBO season, striking out 180 batters while walking just 38. He’s had previous opportunities to play stateside, most notably in 2014 when he and the Padres failed to agree on a contract. He could slot in as a mid-tier free agent option for clubs unwilling to pony up the money necessary to pursue the top options on the market.
- The Reds have hired a new assistant pitching coordinator, with Eric Jagers announcing on Twitter that he’ll join the Reds staff after a year in the Phillies organization. With the Phillies, Jagers worked in the minor league player development department, filling a new position in the organization as a pitch strategist. He broke into the MLB coaching scene after cutting his teeth as Driveline Baseball’s pitching coordinator. Notably, with the Reds he’ll work alongside another Driveline alum, Kyle Boddy, who founded the company and parlayed its success into a position as the Reds’ pitching coordinator. The addition of Jagers continues the organizational overhaul of its pitching infrastructure, which began with the team’s hiring of Derek Johnson, who coached the club to the National League’s fourth-lowest ERA in 2019.