Chaim Bloom reportedly shared a stunned reaction after it was reported the San Diego Padres were signing Xander Bogaerts to an 11-year, $280 million contract. But according to the Boston Red Sox‘ chief baseball officer, Bogaerts’ departure didn’t actually come as a surprise.
Bloom opened up about losing the homegrown shortstop in a candid conversation with MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. Contrary to reports that suggested the Red Sox were close to a deal, he revealed the front office believes Bogaerts was a goner long before the Padres news.
“We had a good sense of where it was headed for some time before the deal was actually done,” Bloom told Cotillo. “I know what was reported, but that was definitely not what our impression was throughout the day and even the day before.”
Unsurprisingly, the Red Sox were simply unwilling to match the Padres’ enormous contract offer. The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier reported the Red Sox offered Bogaerts six years and $160 million, though Bloom declined to confirm that figure.
“It got to a point to we just weren’t going to get to,” Bloom added. “That’s not to say that, emotionally, it wasn’t hard, but I don’t think there’s any sense in beating around the bush on that. The endpoint speaks for itself. We just weren’t going to get there.”
The Red Sox didn’t just lose a four-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion. They lost a face of the franchise and a leader in the clubhouse. Without Bogaerts, the organization is left searching for its identity.
Bloom understands losing Bogaerts has ripple effects that go far beyond the club’s performance on the field.
“He’s a really important person to everyone here and he’s important to the organization. From that standpoint, the fact he’s not going to be here anymore is hard,” Bloom said. “And that’s sad. I think anybody who sugarcoats that is being dishonest. Just because there are business decisions everyone has to make doesn’t mean that the emotional side or the personal side is any less.”
Since Bloom’s arrival in late 2019, the Red Sox have parted ways with homegrown stars Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and now Bogaerts. Rafael Devers could be next as he’s set to become a free agent after the 2023 season.
Bloom tells Cotillo the team may need to reassess how it approaches contract extension discussions with its prized players.
“I do think it’s fair to say that there are some things to think about there,” Bloom said. “Anytime you have a situation where you have a homegrown player who wants to be here and we want him here and it doesn’t happen, I think those are fair questions to ask and those are questions we certainly need to ask ourselves. We haven’t, as an organization, always found a way to come together in those situations. I think it’s something to think about and assess.”
The Red Sox now are left with a significant void on the left side of their infield. They have five options to replace Bogaerts at shortstop before the 2023 MLB season.