Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Red Sox will bring back Alex Cora, Chaim Bloom in 2023 despite underwhelming season

The Boston Red Sox have had one of the league’s most disappointing seasons. They entered Tuesday having lost eight of their past 11 games, dropping their seasonal record to 62-67. The Red Sox are in last place in the American League East, and some eight games back in the wild-card race. SportsLine forecasts them to make the playoffs in less than one percent of its rest-of-season simulations

Despite the above, the Red Sox will not make a significant change in the front office or the clubhouse this winter. Rather, CEO and team president Sam Kennedy said on Monday that top baseball operations executive Chaim Bloom and manager Alex Cora will return for the 2023 season.

“I am very comfortable saying Chaim and Alex will be back,” Kennedy told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic on Monday. “And I am very comfortable saying there is a strong belief in the direction of the franchise from our ownership group. That direction is continuing to build for the future, but also continuing to invest at the major-league level.”

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It should be noted that these Red Sox have dealt with their share of seeming mischances. Boston ranks seventh in the majors in days lost to injury, and has suffered a losing record in both one-run and extra-inning games. To be fair, the Red Sox aren’t just victims of bad luck: they willingly staffed their rotation with injury-prone pitchers, and they’ve had a leaky bullpen. Those factors undoubtedly contributed to the aforementioned statistics.

The question facing Bloom and Cora this offseason is how do they fix it? Alas, their winter won’t be that simple. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts could opt out of his contract, making him one of several key Red Sox players (Nathan Eovaldi, J.D. Martinez, and Enrique Hernandez included) who could find themselves on different teams next spring. Meanwhile, third baseman Rafael Devers will be entering his final season of arbitration eligibility, making it time for the Red Sox to entertain extending or trading him, depending on their visions for the rest of the team and next season.

Bloom has been Boston’s top baseball operations executive since the 2020 season. Cora, in his second stint as Red Sox manager, has amassed a 56.3 winning percentage over the course of four seasons and won the 2018 World Series.

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