Report details internal ‘confusion' over Red Sox' deadline moves


Chaim Bloom and the Boston Red Sox front office tried to walk a fine line between buying and selling at last week's MLB trade deadline.

It appears that approach brought more questions than answers -- both externally and internally.

The Boston Globe's Alex Speier reports that "multiple members" of the Red Sox organization, "from players and uniformed personnel to front-office members," used the word "confusion" to describe the team's approach at the deadline.

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That approach led to a disjointed series of moves that included trading starting catcher Christian Vazquez to the Houston Astros for two prospects -- a move that appeared to signal Boston was selling -- while swapping reliever Jake Diekman for Chicago White Sox catcher Reese McGuire, acquiring outfielder Tommy Pham from the Cincinnati Reds and bringing in first baseman Eric Hosmer from the San Diego Padres in apparent attempts to bolster the roster.

While Hosmer fills a glaring need at first base, it's unclear whether the Red Sox actually got better with these moves. They're 2-4 since the deadline and sit 3.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in last place in the American League East.

Boston also failed to shed the roughly $5 million-to-$10 million needed under the luxury tax, which "surprised" some in the organization, per Speier. Boston is one of just six teams that are over the luxury tax threshold and the only club in that group below .500.

The Red Sox could have dipped below that threshold by trading a player on an expiring deal like slugger J.D. Martinez. But they didn't find a deal they liked -- in part because they were sending mixed messages to their opponents, per Speier.

"An executive of a National League team that discussed a deal for Martinez in the hours leading up to the deadline said the Sox sought both major leaguers and prospects back for the slugger," Speier wrote. "Another said the team was aiming for top-tier prospects for rentals."

Another executive who discussed a Martinez deal with Boston told Speier, "[It] felt like they just wanted to see if someone would get dumb."

The Red Sox have bolstered their farm system under Bloom, who also deserves credit for building a roster that reached the ALCS last season. But unless the 2022 Red Sox can engineer a remarkable turnaround, there are plenty of reasons to criticize the front office for failing to either add significant pieces for a playoff push or dip below the luxury tax with an eye on 2023.

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