Theo Epstein, Ben Cherington, Dave Dombrowski and now Chaim Bloom.
The Red Sox will hire Bloom, the 36-year-old senior vice president of baseball operations with the Tampa Bay Rays, as their next head of baseball operations. The news was first reported by the New York Post on Friday evening.
The Red Sox had not announced it officially as of Friday evening and league rules restrict teams from breaking news during the World Series, but an industry source indicated an announcement could occur as soon as this weekend.
Bloom will become the Sox’ fourth hire to lead the baseball operations department since John Henry and his ownership group purchased the team in 2002. He replaces Dombrowski, the big-spending veteran executive who was fired in August.
The runner-up to become the New York Mets general manager last year, Bloom has been part of a Rays organization that’s achieved remarkable success given its financial limitations.
Despite having an MLB-low payroll of $60 million this year, the Rays won 96 games and took the Astros to the brink of elimination in the American League Division Series before losing in Game 5.
The Rays have never had a payroll higher than $76 million but continue to set the bar for efficiency, having won 90 games or more in seven of the last 12 years, making the playoffs five times in that span.
Bloom will enter the Red Sox organization at the start of what Henry called a “challenging offseason,” one in which the Sox want to get under the luxury tax threshold of $208 million. With their current salary obligations, they’ll have to cut about $30 million from the roster ahead of 2020, while also needing to fill holes in the rotation, bullpen, first base and second base.
Mookie Betts is a year from free agency and clearly isn’t taking a hometown discount, J.D. Martinez can opt out of his remaining contract this winter and the Red Sox owe almost half their payroll to a starting rotation that had its three highest-paid pitchers spend significant time on the injured list in 2019.
But Bloom is no stranger to dealing with tight conditions, having been a part of an organization that’s traded stars such as Evan Longoria and Chris Archer to shed money while acquiring some talented players (Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows included) in return and keeping the Rays competitive throughout.
He is a 2004 Yale University graduate and interned with the Padres before starting his career as an intern with the Rays. He’s been there the last 15 years.