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Red Sox president says Chaim Bloom and Alex Cora will be back next season

In Aug. 2015, less than two years after winning the World Series, the Boston Red Sox replaced head of baseball operations Ben Cherington with Dave Dombrowski while heading toward a second straight last-place finish in the AL East.

In Sept. 2019, less than a year after winning another World Series, the Sox fired Dombrowski, ultimately replacing him with a more process-oriented executive, Chaim Bloom from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Three years later, the Red Sox are again reeling, entering Monday night’s play in last place, 5 1/2 games behind the rebuilding Baltimore Orioles. But Sam Kennedy, team president and CEO, said the team is not planning to cut ties with either Bloom or manager Alex Cora.

“I am very comfortable saying Chaim and Alex will be back. And I am very comfortable saying there is a strong belief in the direction of the franchise from our ownership group,” Kennedy said Monday. “That direction is continuing to build for the future, but also continuing to invest at the major-league level.”


Chaim Bloom (Winslow Townson / USA Today Sports)

Neither Cora nor Bloom is in contractual jeopardy. The Red Sox exercised Cora’s option for 2023 and ‘24 last November. Bloom is in the third year of a long-term deal of at least four years, sources said. But ownership’s penchant for dramatically shifting course, going back to the firing of manager Grady Little after a devastating loss in the 2003 ALCS, has led to media and industry speculation about possible changes.

The Red Sox have been hit hard by injuries this season, from starting pitchers Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Wacha to young pitchers Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Houck to newly signed second baseman Trevor Story to center fielder Kiké Hernández. But the front office also has had a series of missteps, notably a trade of outfielder Hunter Renfroe to the Brewers for Jackie Bradley Jr. and two prospects. The bullpen seemingly has been in flux all season. And two young players who were thought to be part of the team’s future, first baseman Bobby Dalbec and center fielder Jarren Duran, have regressed.

“We’re all incredibly disappointed in how the season has unfolded. It’s certainly not where we thought we would be when we came into camp,” Kennedy said. “We had a magical 2021 year where we were two games from the World Series. We went out and added to what was an incredibly talented group with Trevor Story. We were very optimistic about our chances and where we were headed and incredibly excited that our baseball operations group had just done a fantastic job of building for the future at the same time.

“To be looking up at the American League East at this point of the year is painful and frustrating. And frankly we deserve the criticism we’re getting. We’ve got to own that. It’s on us. But we’ve been around here a long time and we’re prepared to turn things around quickly here as we head into ‘23.”

The Red Sox face a number of critical decisions this offseason, starting with the futures of shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who can opt out of his deal and become a free agent, and third baseman Rafael Devers, who is eligible to hit the open market after 2023. The team’s other potential free agents include Eovaldi, Hernández and Wacha, and designated hitter J.D. Martinez, left-hander Rich Hill and lefty reliever Matt Strahm.

Team officials continue to say they want to retain both Bogaerts and Devers, homegrown talents who have proven they can succeed in Boston. The Sox, with $91.97 million currently committed toward the 2023 payroll have the flexibility to fill their holes, Kennedy said.

“Next year will be the 22nd season of the John Henry-Tom Werner-Mike Gordon Fenway Sports Group stewardship of this franchise,” Kennedy said. “Since we’ve been here, each and every year we have a goal of playing baseball in October. I do not see that changing.

“I see us continuing to invest across the entire organization, at the major-league level, throughout our baseball operations. This group is hungry for another World Series championship. And we’ve got in my opinion the best baseball operations group, the best staff in that dugout, an amazing manager in Alex Cora, Chaim and (team executives) Brian O’Halloran and Raquel (Ferreira) and Eddie (Romero).

“The whole group is outstanding. I know we’re in a tough spot right now. But we have a lot of flexibility going into this offseason. I’m really excited to see what we’re going to do with that flexibility and the resources we have.”

(Photo of Alex Cora: Jonathan Dyer / USA Today Sports)

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