It struck me recently that there hasn’t been much middle ground with the offseason acquisitions of Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom. Looks like the players he brought in, mostly during the winter, were either great additions or colossal flops.
So, I thought to myself, let’s do the math and get out a ballot.
We’re not going to rehash every last move or plead the acquisition and loss of Joel Payamps. Instead, let’s take a look – and give a rating – to Bloom’s 10 most notable moves of the offseason.
Dec 10: Selected RHP Garrett Whitlock of Yankees in rule 5 draft.
With half-hearted apologies to John Trautwein, Mike Trujillo, and most of the other obscure players, Whitlock was the most impressive Rule 5 pick in Red Sox history – and the fact that they stole it from the Unsuspecting Yankees makes it even sweeter.
Whitlock has been excellent all season and built a one-man rescue team for the recently flammable reliever box, building up a 1.60 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 62 innings. The only gripe is that he hasn’t figured out how to clone himself, as the Sox need two more right now. Note: A-plus.
December 14: Signature of Hunter Renfroe as a free agent.
There have been few better free agent deals this season than the 29-year-old outfielder, who came to the Sox with a one-year, $ 3.1 million contract after hitting 0.158 for the Rays a year. latest. Renfroe is prone to falls, but he still has more homers (25-23), two runs batted in (77-79) and 20 fewer strikeouts (100-120) than alleged Cornerstone JD Martinez.
While his GPS is sometimes faulty in the outfield, he plays well on the pitch and has an arm that’s worth … Note: A-less.
December 23: Signed RHP Matt Andriese as a free agent
Call this a great idea that just didn’t work. Andriese’s repertoire abandoned him with the Sox, and the pitcher who was supposed to be a key man in the relieving box gave up 55 hits in 37 ‘innings before his release earlier this month.
But he contributed in a compelling way: he helped teach Whitlock his weather-altering change. Grade: D.
January 25: Acquisition of RHP Adam Ottavino, RHP Frank German and Yankees money for money or a player to be named later.
The Red Sox and Yankees don’t deal often, but when they do, it always seems like there’s an abstract or curious angle. The Red Sox took Ottavino and the German prospect primarily as freebies from the Yankees so New York could clear room below the salary cap threshold.
Ottavino deserves a semi-sincere thank you note; he was a big part of the end-of-inning scramble, but he produced way too many hitters (5.2 by 9). It almost seems predestined that he’ll be on the mound against the Yankees at a crucial place in the wilds game, right? Note: B-less.
February 2: Signed CF / 2B Kiké Hernández as a free agent.
Hernández’s signing to a two-year, $ 14 million contract became official the day after Dustin Pedroia announced his retirement. There is a bit of symmetry there; Hernández is not the same player as Pedroia, as few are, but he plays with a similar spark.
Hernández, who has one. 811 OPS and 17 home runs, actually leads the Red Sox in the benchmark version of WAR baseball (4.4), in large part because of his excellent midfield defense and adept at baserunning.
Bloom perhaps should have prioritized Marcus Semien instead, but there should be no complaints about what Hernández has brought to the squad. Note: A-less.
February 3: Signed RHP Garrett Richards as a free agent.
In 2002, the Red Sox won 93 games. Pedro Martinez delivered his usual brilliance, going 20-4 with a 2.26 ERA. Derek Lowe went 21-8, 2.58, and threw a hit. Tim Wakefield was 11-5 with a 2.81 ERA in 45 games and 15 starts.
However, this team did not reach the playoffs. One big reason: a void in the rotation. Frank Castillo pitched in 36 games (23 starts), going 6-15 with a 5.07 ERA in 163 innings.
When this Red Sox season is over, especially if they miss the playoffs, we’re going to look back and wonder how the hell Richards and Martín Pérez were allowed to make (at least) 44 starts. There is, however, some hope that Richards will be salvageable in the bullpen. Grade: D-plus.
February 10: In a three-team deal, OF Andrew Benintendi traded to the Royals for OF Franchy Cordero and four prospects.
The winner of this deal will be determined by the names involved which are least familiar at the moment. Cordero, who has a home run and a 0.189 batting average, has at least two holes in his swing. Benintendi fell into a mediocrity between injury pattern, with 0.709 OPS and 12 home runs for the Royals.
So remember the names Josh Winckowski, Luis De La Rosa, Grant Gambrell and Freddy Valdez. These more or less promising prospects will determine how the Red Sox will fare in this deal. Grade: Cordero, F; the rest to be determined.
February 16: Signed RHP Hirokazu Sawamura as a free agent.
The 10-year Nippon Professional Baseball League veteran from Japan arrived in the United States on a two-year contract and was exactly what the Red Sox were hoping for – a reliable mid- and late-inning option, with a 3.15 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 45 minutes. Note: B-plus
February 24: Signed INF / OF Marwin Gonzalez as a free agent.
I suspect Alex Cora saw a lot of his old ball player in the smart, offensive, all-round utility, which is probably why he got more swings than he deserved. Gonzalez was released after getting a .567 OPS in 242 batting appearances.
Just a hunch, but history can possibly remember him as the Astro who benefited the most from their ways of cheating. Rating: F
March 7: OF / INF sign Danny Santana as a free agent.
He scored in each of his first two games, but has reached 0.165 in 104 home plate appearances since then, and then suffered an injury. Carlos Santana would have been more productive. No, not the Royals first baseman. The guitarist. Category: F.
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