GM Meetings: Chaim Bloom clarifies offseason approach, idea of trading with Yankees

Rob Bradford
November 11, 2019 - 8:30 pm

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There was a theme throughout the meeting with Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom and GM Brian O'Halloran and the local media at the GM Meetings Monday night: all options are open.

"I would say to look at it in terms of Need A, Need B and Need C might be a little limiting for us," Bloom said. "To zoom out and look at … We know our objective is to prioritize sustainability, prioritize competitiveness. Not just this coming year but also in the long-term. To think of things through that lens rather than trying to arrange an order of needs is how we’re approaching it and should it should open up more options for us."

Then came the ultimate sign the current Red Sox regime is planning on leaving no stone unturned. Bloom said the Red Sox would actually be open to making a trade with the Yankees.

"I think it would be irresponsible of us to dismiss that," he said when asked about exploring potential deals with New York.

Regarding the idea of eliminating trading within the American League East as a rule, Bloom added, "I never liked to think that way. I think it’s our job right now to make contact with 29 other clubs and to get the best sense we can of what everybody is trying to do and go from there."

It is the same tact taken by former President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski when he took over the reins with the Red Sox, telling the Boston Herald back in 2015, "You’re always open to making any trades you think will better your club. If you’re trading within your own division, I’ve always been open to it. But some people aren’t."

The most recent instance where the Red Sox traded with the Yankees came in 2014 when they dealt Stephen Drew to New York for Kelly Johnson. Prior to that, the two teams hadn't exchanged players since 1997.

The Red Sox and Rays have only made a pair of deals, having most recently swapped pitchers in the 2018 trade involving Nathan Eovaldi and Jalen Beeks. That same year Dombrowski acquired Steve Pearce from the Blue Jays. The Sox and Orioles struck a deal this past season when Boston reeled in Andrew Cashner for a pair of minor leaguers.

As for how the Red Sox plan on going about building the 2020 roster, Bloom did address the most pressing topic -- cutting payroll to get below the $208 million luxury tax threshold.

"No different from how it was laid out when I got here. It’s certainly something we’d like to do," he said regarding getting under the well-publicized dollar figure "It’s a goal. It’s not something that we’re absolutely mandated to do, but it’s certainly a goal."

In years past, it had been Dombrowski's inclination to head into an offseason identifying spots he perceived needed to be filled on the roster. But as Bloom explained it, that might not be a luxury the Red Sox have this time around.

"You know, this offseason, in particular, I don’t think so," he said regarding having a list of priorities. "Just because I think it’s our job to create as many options as we can and to look at a lot of different paths for us to go forward. Just to make sure we are really surveying the landscape the best way to go forward and make the future of the Red Sox as good as it can be. So I think to put things in priority order would be limiting. Obviously at some point, you start picking paths and that will maybe define some of what happens next. At this stage, no, I don’t think it makes sense to try to impose an order on the particular things we might be able to do."