The Red Sox placed last in the American League East twice in Chaim Bloom’s first three seasons, and there’s a strong chance that they will finish in the basement again this year. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

The Boston Red Sox woke up in last place this morning. As this roller coaster of a season plunges toward the end, there is a strong chance they will finish in the basement for the third time in four years.

That’s why Boston is searching for a new executive to lead its baseball operations. Chaim Bloom was relieved of his duties Thursday morning, paying the price for the lack of improvement in the American League East standings over his four-year stint.

Four years seems to be the amount of time top baseball executives have to prove themselves in Boston. It’s how long Ben Cherington, Dave Dombrowski and now Bloom had to implement a plan to put the Red Sox on top.

When he was brought in in 2019, Bloom was asked to fight a two-front battle in the corner office of the Boston baseball apparatus. He was asked to build up the minor-league system while putting a contending team on the big-league field.

He succeeded in the first challenge. He inherited a farm system that was at or near the bottom of most rankings. It’s now a top 10 (top five according to some evaluators) system. Players like Marcelo Mayer and Ceddanne Rafaela and Roman Anthony and Kyle Teel are on the fast track to The Show and expected to be impact players at the big-league level.

Where Bloom failed was in his ability to augment the rebuilding process with major league-ready stars. The Sox are on track to finish last for the third time in four years despite being on the edge of the playoff race in early August. In fact, they were coming off a July in which they posted the best record in the majors.


The Sox were 2 1/2 games out of a playoff spot at the MLB trade deadline Aug. 1. For the second straight year the front office was at a crossroads. Would the Sox add talent to the current roster to make a push for the playoffs? Would they make the painful decision to trade players off that roster to double down on their hopes for 2024?

Bloom did neither. The Sox didn’t add a major league player, nor did they make moves to reload for the future. Boston is 17-26 since the deadline, with the team posting a losing record in August for the fourth consecutive year.

What a front office does at the deadline manifests itself on the field. For the second straight year Bloom stayed in the middle lane, refusing to take on a risky contract while not jeopardizing the current team’s hopes by trading off big-league players. The one impact player acquired at the last four trade deadlines, Kyle Schwarber, generated a spark that led to the team’s only playoff appearance in the last five years.

Now the search is on for someone to replace Bloom, someone who will benefit from a robust farm system ready to impact the franchise’s future with young talent or assets to use in trade.

His replacement won’t have much time to get up to speed. With the right moves, the Red Sox should be back in the hunt next season. There was plenty of offense – the Sox have scored the fifth-most runs in the American League this season. The bullpen was much stronger this season, at least until the burden of overuse began to show itself in August and September.

For the 2024 Red Sox, it all comes back to starting pitching. If Boston adds a pair of top-of-the-rotation starters next season it should be a competitive team. Starting pitching is costly, but the Sox should be able to afford it. Projections for 2024 show the Sox will enter the year some $90 million under the competitive-balance tax threshold.

Pitching isn’t only expensive, it’s risky. Starters perform with the fear of elbow and shoulder injuries hanging over the mound. Yet the Red Sox will have to take that chance, whether its via trade or free agency.

Bloom didn’t take many chances, especially when it came to building a starting rotation. Now, for the fourth time in 12 years, the Sox are looking for someone new to lead the way.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. He is a graduate of Lewiston High School.

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