The timing wasn’t intentional, but it was fitting.
Officially eliminated from the playoffs Sunday, the Red Sox on Monday celebrated a hopeful future before a largely meaningless 14-8 defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Eight minor league award winners were introduced pregame, a group that included only two players who were in the organization as recently as two years ago, and three who were already wearing major league uniforms. The Red Sox saw it as a sign of progress, and ideally, an indication of better days ahead.
“I think we’ve raised the floor of our system pretty significantly over the past couple of years,” director of player development Brian Abraham said.
Chaim Bloom said something similar last week, not in the context of minor league awards, but regarding something far more consequential. In answering a question about whether Rafael Devers, heading into his final year of team control — will be treated the same way Mookie Betts was handled three years ago when he, too, was a year away from free agency and wound up traded, Bloom cited the improved health of the minor league system as a reason things might be different this time around.
“Right now on Raffy,” Bloom told The Bradfo Sho podcast, “we are in a different position as an organization where I think our talent base — the young talent in the organization — is in a much better spot, and we are not committed in the same way financially to as many players as we were (heading into 2020). So, I can’t give a guarantee still based on that, obviously, but part of what we have been trying to do is put the organization in a position where we wouldn’t be backed into that corner.”