Are we going to look back at Brandon Workman trade as Chaim Bloom's first big steal?

Rob Bradford
September 18, 2020 - 10:22 am

Dave Dombrowski was really good at it.

Identifying the right guy to get at the right time at the right price.

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Brad Ziegler. Addison Reed. Eduardo Nunez. Steve Pearce, Nathan Eovaldi. Even getting a guy like Colten Brewer was a feather in the cap. Sure everyone has their Andrew Cashners, but the former Red Sox President of Baseball Operations' track record when it came to identifying the proper path for trades was certainly a positive one.

It's a dynamic that we have been anxiously waiting to define when it comes to Chaim Bloom.

Of course, up until late August, the defining transaction for Bloom was trading Mookie Betts and David Price for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong. And with the understanding that a Betts deal was ultimately going to have to be made, the return has seemed palatable for the Red Sox so far. That is in large part to Verdugo, who has offered the impression of a player who will become an All-Star in the coming years.

But the truest test for Bloom may ultimately have been those days leading up to Aug. 31.

It's a time we may look back at as a signature stretch for the Red Sox' chief decision-maker.

Now, judging trades just a few weeks after they took place is usually a fool's errand. For example, it took a few years to figure out that Ben Cherington nailed the Andrew Miller for Eduardo Rodriguez deal back in 2014. But this Brandon Workman trade might be different.

It certainly seems like Bloom could have come away with a steal.

If Workman had another year of control on his contract, or Heath Hembree was on fire and gave off the image of a closer-in-waiting than maybe this narrative never gets surfaced. But neither is true. The Phillies' closer is going to be a free agent in a few weeks and the Red Sox' have plenty of potential for Hembree replacements heading into 2021.

So, why try and put this on the Bloom resume so quickly? We still, after all, don't know how good the likes of Nick Pivetta and/or Connor Seabold will be for future Red Sox teams. Well, it's because how things are trending.

Workman has been a disaster for Philadelphia, most recently losing Thursday night's' game against the Mets by allowing three runs while getting just one out. In his last three appearances he has allowed three hits in each, giving up at least one run along the way. The righty's totals since joining the Phillies are: 12 appearances, 11 2/3 innings, 22 hits, nine runs, nine walks.

This has become Eric Gagne circa 2007 territory.

Hembree hasn't been any better, surrounding six home runs in 7 2/3 innings since going to Philadelphia, currently living life with an 8.22 ERA as a Phillie.

As for Pivetta and Seabold, there has been no evidence they are part of the solution, but there is also no proof they aren't.

Pivetta will likely get one start next week after working in Pawtucket, where he stretched his innings out to that of a starter (while also giving the Red Sox another year of contractual control). His stuff has clearly impressed, as it has for much of his career. At least for one game, now we get to see how it might translate.

Seabold has been one of the more interesting pitchers at McCoy, displaying a legitimate difference-making pitch in his changeup. The fact that he has succeeded at every stop in his professional career while serving as a starter should offer hope.

It might seem like it's early to engage in such conversations, but really in this case it's not.

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