Red Sox manager Alex Cora, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, president Sam Kennedy, and general manager Brian O’Halloran discussed the end of the Red Sox’ season with reporters.
Here’s what they had to say:
Tom Goodwin out
Bloom said Tom Goodwin won’t be returning to the staff.
“The intent is that everyone else will be back,” he said.
Goodwin, the Sox’ first base coach, was unvaccinated during the season, which led to at least two quarantines as a close contact of individuals who tested positive.
“His vaccination status had nothing to do with this decision, it was a baseball decision,” Bloom said.
CBA negotiations front and center
There’s a looming work stoppage in MLB, as the current CBA is set to expire on Dec. 2 and both sides — the owners and the players — appear far apart from making a deal. This could have a ripple effect through the Red Sox’ offseason.
“This is one that, you know, from our standpoint, there’s a lot of things about it we can’t control,” Bloom said. “It will obviously dictate a lot of what we in the industry do, but I think right now as we’re making plans for the meat of the offseason once the World Series is over, we need to be focused on those goals of building winning club next year and beyond.”
But there’s the question of if free agency will even begin on time.
“How the timing of that is going to unfold I think is anybody’s guess,” Bloom said. “We need to make sure we’re ready.”
Cora on the Red Sox rotation:
“One of the reasons we ended up winning the wild card and we got to where we ended up is because of those guys, and with Chris Sale being healthy and the way he finished the season. I think everybody here and everybody in the organization feels very positive about his offseason program and what’s gonna happen next year.
“There’s some young guys that we liked, and we will make decisions over the course of the offseason how we use them next year.”
Bloom on Rafael Devers’s injury:
“We did our best to get a handle on what was going on, really [it was] elbow inflammation, it’s something we’re managing, nothing concerning. ... Kudos to our medical staff and to Rafi for how he managed to play through it. Something that rest should do a lot to help.”
Bloom on if Eduardo Rodriguez will be given a qualifying offer:
“We haven’t made any of those decisions yet.”
Bloom on if there is room for both Kyle Schwarber and J.D. Martinez in the lineup?
“Look, we played some of our best baseball in that alignment [with Schwarber at first and Martinez at DH] with Kyle learning that position on the fly. And I think we saw him get better as time went on — pretty good sense of humor about it too. Both guys are really talented players.
“We have to look at it all this offseason, it can unfold in a few ways. Both guys obviously play the outfield as well. Talent is talent, there’s a lot of different ways to get where we want to go.”
Cora on how to get Matt Barnes back to himself:
“I think those conversations have already started. ... He’s still a really good pitcher, we know that, obviously, it didn’t end up the way we want it to.
“There’s a lot of factors that come into play, including 10 days he was out of the equation because of COVID. So, we’ve talked to Barnesy. ... We’re gonna attack the offseason the right way. And I hate to guarantee things but he’ll be a big part of us going forward.”
Bloom on Kiké Hernández’s future with the Red Sox:
“It’s no secret in this room when we signed him we didn’t see him being our everyday centerfielder down the stretch, but that ended up being our best team ... it gives us options going into the offseason.”
Bloom on Christian Vázquez’s future with the Red Sox (free agent with club option):
“We know this is a really hard position to find somebody who not only is physically capable but also mentally and emotionally capable of carrying that load. And we have a guy that has done that all the way to the end of the season. He is a really important guy to us, and we know how much the organization means to him. It’s a hard position to check all the boxes and you don’t take for granted when you have someone who showed that he can do it.”
Bloom on the season as a whole:
“I think in terms of this team, we started something, in terms of feeling like we have a bunch of guys who are joining this group who are ready to help us going forward. I think we’re there, I think the vision now is just to continue to build on what we had this year where we had Fenway Park — playing postseason baseball, meaningful games, almost all the way to the World Series.”