Despite the unique trade partners (Yankees and Rays), these Red Sox trades are starting to make a little bit more sense. Chaim Bloom is trying to restore this organization’s farm system, which was compromised for the 2018 World Series. Chaim Bloom traded Chris Mazza and Jeffery Springs, both pitchers who were recently designated for assignment, to the Rays in exchange for catcher Ronaldo Hernandez and infielder Nick Sogard. Earlier this year, the Red Sox acquired Adam Ottavino from the Yankees. Bloom is willing to revive the Red Sox farm system at any cost, even dealing with division rivals.
What it means for 2021
This might mean another tough season for Red Sox fans following a brutal 2020 shortened season where the Red Sox were 24-36 finishing dead last in the AL East. The improvements to that big league roster have been minimal so far this off-season. Kike Hernandez, Marwin Gonzalez, Hunter Renfroe, Adam Ottavino and Franchy Cordero are the key additions to the Red Sox big league club. Closest thing to a superstar there is Adam Ottavino. While he was a great pick-up, I’d be shocked if he isn’t dealt before the trade deadline for prospects.
Back to Bloom and his job as President of Baseball Operations… It seems his mission is to restore the Red Sox farm system that was depleted by Dave Dombrowski (in return for a WS title). So far, Bloom has turned marginal players into prospects. The latest is turning two players who were designated for assignment into two prospects.
One was a former top-100 prospect in Ronaldo Hernandez. He traded Andrew Benintendi, a player who’s been on the decline the past couple seasons, into two current prospects and five players to be named later. Usually players to be named later are throw-aways but with no minor league baseball being played last year, I think this is a good move by the Sox. They need more time to scout who they want back in return for Benny Baseball.
Bloom knows the Rays farm system very well. He worked for the club for 14 years before being hired by the Red Sox in 2020. Ronaldo Hernandez was the 14th ranked prospect in the #1 ranked farm system. He hit .265 with nine home runs and 60 RBIs over 103 games in 2019 at the High-A level. In addition to building up the farm system, the catching depth also needed some help behind Vazquez (who’s been rumored to be on the trade market) with Kevin Plawecki recently being put on COVID list.
Quick 2021 outlook for the Red Sox doesn’t look too hot. The Yankees are currently the favorite to win the AL East. The Rays are returning American League Champions. The Blue Jays significantly improved their roster this off-season with acquisitions of George Springer and Steven Matz. The Red Sox current win total is set at 80.5, so Vegas thinks this is a .500 team. I’d would say that’s a little high. I think this is more of a 74-75 win team simply due to their lack of top end pitching. Chris Sale is expected to miss most of 2021, and the rest of the rotation will be decent at best. However, I’m sure there are more moves to come by Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox.