For Red Sox team president Chaim Bloom and general manager Brian O’Halloran, the bad news is that they’re in last place in the AL East. The good news is that, having hit the half way point of the 2023 season at 40-41, they remain on the fringes of contention.
The truth is that while Bloom and O’Halloran have conducted a frenetic front office search for talent since the end of the 2022 season, all their efforts really haven’t moved the team’s talent needle much at all.
Grading the Boston Red Sox at the midway point of the 2023 season
What follows is a mid-term assessment of the personnel decisions made by Bloom and O’Halloran since the conclusion of the 2022 World Series with a particular focus on the extent to which those decisions have helped or hindered the Red Sox performance.
The standard of measurement in Wins Above Average (WAA), a variant of Wins Above Replacement (WAR). For this purpose, WAA is preferable because unlike WAR, it is zero-based. That means the sum of all the decisions made by the Red Sox front office impacting the 2023 team gives at least a good estimate of the number of games those moves have improved (or worsened) the team’s status this season.
A team’s front office impacts that team’s standing in five ways. Those five are:
1. By the impact of players it acquires from other teams via trade, purchase or waiver claim.
2. By the impact of players it surrenders to other teams in those same transactions.
3. By the impact of players it signs at free agency or extends.
4. By the impact of players it loses to free agency or releases.
5. By the impact of players it promotes from its own farm system.
Here’s how Bloom and O’Halloran stack up by those five yardsticks.