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Red Sox News: Alex Cora, Chaim Bloom to Return for 2023 Season, per Sam Kennedy

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 29, 2022

Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox intend to retain manager Alex Cora and chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom for the 2023 MLB season.

"I am very comfortable saying Chaim and Alex will be back," team president Sam Kennedy said to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. "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."

The Red Sox are last in the American League East at 62-66, but they're only one year removed from reaching the AL Championship Series. Cora guided Boston to a World Series title in 2018 as well.

The franchise has already exercised his club options for 2023 and 2024, so it's little surprise the appetite to make a managerial change is low.

Bloom's return might be a more concerning development for the fanbase because it signals that ownership isn't planning to drastically change its current direction.

The Red Sox had MLB's highest payroll in 2019 ($236.2 million), but the Mookie Betts trade the following year was part of a plan to begin trimming costs. Since then, Boston ranked fourth, eighth and sixth in Opening Day payroll.

This offseason could be pivotal toward charting the course forward.

Xander Bogaerts can opt of the final four years and $80 million of his contract, a step he'll presumably take because he remains one of MLB's best shortstops. Rafael Devers is also approaching his final year of arbitration with no long-term deal in sight.

Ownership's spending mandate coincided with the hiring of Bloom in October 2019. Pivoting to an executive from the Tampa Bay Rays represented a clear shift from how things were done under Dave Dombrowski, who wasn't afraid to hand out big contracts and trade away top prospects for MLB talent.

Bloom is steadily building up Boston's farm system. The franchise ranked 11th at midseason by MLB.com's Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Sam Dykstra. That's only marginal improvement from one year ago (12th) but a big jump from where it was at midseason in 2020 (25th).

That may not count as much for a fanbase that wants to see a winner right now, though, and preferred an executive such as Dombrowski who took such a short-term view on team-building.

Bloom's continued presence in the front office may not bode well for the odds of the Red Sox paying what it takes to keep Bogaerts and Devers around long-term.

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