Examining the Boston trades, signings and drafts of the Cardinals' Chaim Bloom

Chaim Bloom has a chance to be the next President of Baseball Operations for the St. Louis Cardinals. A glimpse into his history with the Boston Red Sox could show fans what's in store.
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Any conversation of the trades orchestrated by Bloom with Boston has to start with Mookie Betts. Red Sox owner John Henry was looking to slash payroll before the 2020 season, and Betts was a casualty of that reduced spending flexibility. Betts, along with David Price, moved on to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Bloom negotiated a return of Alex Verdugo, Connor Wong and Jeter Downs.

Teams who trade for star players rarely regret their decisions, and the Dodgers have so far ended up as no exception, as Betts has amassed a bWAR of 26.0 with his new team. On the Red Sox' side, Wong has broken out in 2024 and is currently hitting .354. Verdugo had a respectable 105 OPS+ in three seasons with Boston, but Downs was a complete bust, with the formerly highly touted prospect failing to reach the Mendoza line of a .200 average with Boston or in Triple-A.

In total, the players acquired by Bloom have a combined bWAR of 22.2, with pitcher Nick Pivetta rating as the most valuable with an 8.4 bWAR. The players Bloom dealt away have a combined bWAR of 29.1, and, unsurprisingly, Betts is by far the main reason for that. The second-largest bWAR after leaving Boston belongs to Jeffrey Springs, whom the Red Sox traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for two minor leaguers. The Rays have turned Springs into an excellent pitcher, and his bWAR stands at 4.8 with Tampa Bay.

The one large move Bloom made at a deadline was in 2021, when he acquired Kyle Schwarber, Hansel Robles and Austin Davis for minor league pitcher Aldo Ramirez. Schwarber, the main piece in that deal, hit .291 with seven home runs while playing outfield, first base and designated hitter as the Red Sox made their way to the ALCS.

A smaller deadline deal that is paying dividends for the Red Sox was the 2022 trade of catcher Christian Vazquez to the Houston Astros for outfielder Wilyer Abreu, who has played his way into early Rookie of the Year conversations, hitting .270 with a 128 OPS+ in his first full season.

A major "what if" moment occurred when the Red Sox opted not to trade shortstop Xander Bogaerts at the 2022 deadline in an attempt to pursue a ring. This backfired when Bogaerts opted out of his contract after the season and signed with the San Diego Padres, preventing the Red Sox from receiving a sizable return.

When it comes to trades, Bloom's lasting legacy will be the move of Betts. The verdict is not quite reached given the emergence of Wong in 2024, and Bloom shouldn't be fully criticized for the trade given the front office's demands to cut spending. His other trades were generally low-risk moves, so he feels tailor-made for the Cardinals in that regard.