This story was updated Friday morning to insert the third paragraph.
The Red Sox baseball operations department may be close to gaining new leadership.
According to multiple major league sources, Chaim Bloom, the vice president of baseball operations for the Tampa Bay Rays for the last three years, has interviewed with the Red Sox about joining their baseball operations department. Multiple industry officials characterized the Red Sox as having significant interest in Bloom, though it is not known what position (general manager, president of baseball operations, or another) the team has been discussing with him.
While it is unknown if the Red Sox already have extended a formal offer to Bloom to head their baseball operations department, multiple industry sources expect the team to do so.
If Bloom comes to the Red Sox, he will do so after making a significant mark on a Rays organization that earned widespread respect for emerging as a contender despite limited resources. While Bloom has technically worked under Rays GM Erik Neander in his current role, the lines of responsibility for the two were intentionally blurred to give both significant responsibility, with the two in near-constant communication about virtually every aspect of the organization.
Tampa Bay’s ability to emerge as a surprise contender in 2018 and playoff team in 2019 — despite one of the lowest payrolls in the game — owed to success in several areas that will prove critical for the Red Sox as they move forward. The Rays’ strong player development system yielded a steady supply of big league contributors in recent years — and it was in the farm system that Bloom in many ways cut his teeth while working under former Tampa Bay GM Andrew Friedman. Bloom was credited as the primary author of “The Rays Way,” the team’s player development manual, more than a decade ago.
The Rays also thrived in recent years thanks to a strong analytics department whose work was integrated well into game management as well as roster decisions. The team’s use of information likewise helped guide Tampa Bay in a number of trades that, while requiring the team to make the painful decision to part with established stars, brought back young and inexpensive foundation pieces.
At a time when the Red Sox will have to make hard decisions about which core members will remain with the team as the organization tries to reduce payroll to reset its luxury-tax penalties, Bloom’s work with the Rays carries intrigue in Boston.
Bloom, who graduated from Yale with a degree in classics, joined the Rays in 2005, hired as an intern by Friedman. He became steeped in the organizational culture, which emphasized creativity, thorough processes, extensive quality control and feedback, and cross-departmental collaboration. Those inside the Rays organization and around the game rave about Bloom’s executive skills, as well as his personality as a respectful and respected leader.
The Red Sox have been overseen by a four-person interim leadership team of assistant GMs Brian O’Halloran, Eddie Romero, and Zack Scott, and senior vice president Raquel Ferreira, since president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was fired on Sept. 8. While principal owner John Henry initially suggested that the team wanted to talk to candidates with prior GM experience — most likely in current roles with other clubs — Bloom was long viewed around the industry as a star.
News of Bloom’s interview with the Red Sox was first reported by Chad Jennings and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.