Other execs see Bloom as perfect fit in Boston

November 14th, 2019

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The decisions Chaim Bloom will make to reshape the Red Sox as chief baseball officer are still to come.

But executives throughout the game – whether they worked with Bloom or competed against him – are convinced the 36-year-old is the right person at the right time for the job.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman admitted as much -- even if in a somewhat begrudging fashion.

“I’d rather he would have gotten poached into the National League,” said Cashman.

That said, Cashman has full respect for the executive now leading his top rival.

What trait does Bloom have that Cashman thinks will best set him up for success?

“His intelligence,” Cashman said. “He’s a really, really smart individual. And he’s not afraid to make very strong objective decisions. He’ll put a very strong objective process in play. I guarantee if there are any deficiencies over there, which I’m sure there isn’t, but if there are, he’ll find ways to improve upon them in a very short order.”

Seventeen years ago, Theo Epstein was the one who had completed his ascension from intern with the Orioles to an executive in baseball ops with the Padres to general manager of the Red Sox.

Now entrenched with the Cubs, Epstein is convinced that Bloom is ready to be the lead decision-maker for one of the most scrutinized teams in the game.

“Chaim is extremely well respected in the game. Very bright. Very personable. He’s played a big part in a really successful operation,” Epstein said. “He should fit in extremely well with what I know of their existing front office, and he seems like a great fit.”

Without question, the rabid baseball market that is Boston will be an adjustment for Bloom. But those who know him don’t think it will take long for him to adapt.

“There’s a learning curve,” said Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer, who worked under Epstein with the Red Sox. “You go from one of the smallest media markets, if not the smallest, to one of the most intense. But he’s really bright and really good at his job and it’s better to have a learning curve on that stuff than the others. It will take some time to get used to the attention, the day to day attention, but he’ll do a great job.”

Would Epstein offer Bloom any advice on what it takes to succeed in a market like Boston?

“I don’t think he needs my advice,” Epstein said. “He’s very grounded, very reasonable and patient. I don’t think he gets too wrapped up emotionally in the environment around the club. He’s not one to put too much emphasis on the noise that surrounds a team. I think he’ll handle himself really well there. You’d have to look long and far to have someone say a bad word about Chaim and what he did in Tampa Bay.”

Speaking of the Rays, the two executives there who perhaps worked the closest with Bloom are thrilled to see their friend land in such a prestigious position.

“He’s got a unique combination of intelligence, coupled with feel for the game that allows him to navigate different conversations with Major League field staff or [the research and development] department and utilize all of that information to put his organization in position to make the most informed decisions,” said Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, who was Tampa Bay's vice president of baseball operations and general manger while Bloom was there.

“From a big-picture standpoint, his ability to handle a lot of different information and variables and synchronize that to navigate the trickiest aspects of the offseason, which is the timing of moves, I think from his collaborative nature to his curiosity, I think all contribute the roster construction and putting his organization in the best position to succeed.”

For Rays current general manager Erik Neander, it was a bit surreal to see Bloom these past few days in Scottsdale working for a competing team – particularly that competing team.

“If we had our choice of teams, it probably wouldn’t have been that one,” Neander said. “That is a sincere compliment to him obviously. At the same time, the Red Sox organization, their standard of excellence is there. They’ve lived it. The four World Series [titles since 2004]. The past three executives there have won the World Series. I think the level of competitiveness I would expect him to lead up there is no different from what we’ve been competing against. In that sense, it’s not much different, but it is different seeing him in Red Sox attire.”

Neander now realizes he was fortunate enough to work with Bloom for as long as he did.

“Ten years ago, you had a sense this was coming. Fifteen years ago you had a sense this was coming,” Neander said. “You knew he was on this trajectory, because of the work ethic and the intelligence. But more than all of that, the respect he has for people and the way he can connect those viewpoints in the most productive ways possible. That’s what you need in today’s game, and he represents every ideal quality you’d want to see in that role.”