Chaim Bloom offers his views on Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez situations

Rob Bradford
November 08, 2019 - 8:04 am

Speaking for the first time since J.D. Martinez made his decision to stick with the Red Sox for at least one more year, Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom joined the Bradfo Sho podcast to offer his perspective on the slugger not opting out of his current contract with the Sox and his current analysis of the Mookie Betts situation.

In the interview, Bloom admitted that Martinez's path went a long way to defining the Red Sox' offseason.

"I think that’s fair," he said when asked about the Martinez decision serving as the Red Sox' decision-making springboard for the next few months. "Certainly J.D., rightly so and not just through what it is in his contract but obviously he’s an elite player, he had the right to make a decision for himself and he should be able to make that decision with his own interest in mind. We’re happy he chose to stay."

Was Bloom surprised Martinez chose not to enter into free agency?

"I don’t know if I had too many preconceived notions on what he was going to do," he said. "I’m not sure it would be fair for me to come in here with that because I recognize in a lot of these cases it’s easy for us for us to say, ‘The player should do that,’ or ‘The player should do that.’ And there are some cases where it might be very clear from the outside but we also have to recognize that these are personal decisions and contractually what the player has is the right to make a decision for himself. I would never want to assume that I know everything that is going to go into that decision for a player. But knowing certainly he caliber of hitter that he has and the impact he has on others on this club we’re thrilled that he decided to stay."

Also of note was Bloom suggesting that the Red Sox wouldn't have closed the book on re-signing Martinez if the 32-year-old entered into free agency, with the understanding that the approach toward filling that position probably changes the minute he hits the open market.

"You know that obviously if he had opted out … It doesn’t mean we’re never going to talk to him again," Bloom said. "We would have wanted to stay in contact with him and let the offseason play out but it’s obviously a little bit of a different board so to speak than if he’s here. The options that you might be looking at that point might be a little different. Especially early on in the offseason our responsibility is to still explore as many options as we can with everybody with this whole roster, to look under every rock to try and get better and to try and find things that work for the organization in the big picture. I don’t think it necessarily changes the number of things that we might explore but certainly, you’re looking at a somewhat different set of possibilities if he opts out than if he stays."

As for Betts, who will be eligible for free agency after 2020, Bloom said he has been afforded a better perspective on the outfielder's situation thanks to his immersion into the Red Sox' organization over the last couple of weeks. Part of the process, according to the Red Sox' CBO, was reaching out to Betts after Bloom's hiring became official.

"I certainly know a lot more than I did on the day that I got here," he said. "Not just about him but about a lot of guys. Everything that surrounds his situation, but chiefly because of how excellent a player he is that seems to be the No. 1 topic on everyone’s mind. He’s just a phenomenal player. Obviously, we saw that up close with the Rays. It’s something everyone in our industry appreciates. I’m still getting to know him but everything I know about him as a human being is also phenomenal. He’s a pretty special person.

"I did talk to him a little bit early on. Of course, there are no short cuts to building relationships. I still have some work to do on that front with our group as a whole but I’ve tried to reach out to a number of the guys. They’ve all been great and that’s been really nice. So I know a little bit more than I did in terms of getting my arms around the situation and as a group how we’re going to address it. In that regard, I’m not sure it’s different than any situation with any player. It’s a little more visible. Obviously, it’s an elite player in a situation that is going to get a lot of attention. But it’s the same process of getting to know the situation as it would be really with anything going on in the organization."

Bloom's next order of business will be to attend the GM Meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz. early next week.

To listen to the entire Bradfo Sho podcast, click here.