Boston center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. will be a free agent after this season, and could be dealt by the Red Sox before the Aug. 31 trade deadline. Steven Senne/Associated Press

If the Boston Red Sox are going to have the season they are having, this is the year.

Boston has one of the worst records in Major League Baseball.

Of some consolation is the short, 60-game schedule, reducing the length of this angst.

But this also presents an opportunity for Chaim Bloom, the man brought in by Boston to replace Dave Dombrowski and rebuild the Red Sox organization, starting with the development of young talent. (That development may have slipped under Dombrowski, but no one is complaining about the 2018 World Series.)

One way for Bloom to rebuild is to trade for young major leaguers and prospects. We saw that in the Mookie Betts/David Price deal to the Dodgers for three players, including 24-year-old Alex Verdugo, already one of Boston’s best hitters.

Now with the Aug. 31 trade deadline in sight, Bloom is already at work as a seller in the market. Normally, the Red Sox are buyers, and the team rarely concedes that it is not contending. But being so bad in 2020 has made it easier on Bloom.


“I suppose you can say that,” Bloom said in a Zoom interview on Wednesday. But he would not say this is an enjoyable experience.

“When the ballgame starts, I’d rather win than lose.”

Throughout the interview, Bloom kept referring to the “big picture.”

“The big picture, despite this start, we know we have a very talented core,” Bloom said, later identifying shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers as part of that core.

“The big picture, the long-term objectives of this organization – we had to prioritize from Day One when I got here – are still important.”

Those objectives include the obvious goal of building a sustainable winner. Build through the draft, free-agent signings and trades. Bloom will not be looking for 2020 help, but rather toward the future, when he gets on the phone with executives from other teams.


“Because of our start, the needle might move a little more in that direction,” Bloom said of the role of seller.

“Maybe there will be things we will contemplate that we wouldn’t otherwise have contemplated. But big picture …”

Bloom struck on Friday evening, trading right-handed relievers Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman (who will become a free agent after this season) to the Philadelphia Phillies. In return, the Red Sox acquired right-handed pitchers Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold.

Pivetta, 27, is a four-year veteran who has started 71 of his 92 career games, with a 19-30 record and a 5.50 ERA. Seabold, 24, was a third-round draft pick by the Phillies in 2017 who has yet to pitch in the majors. He went 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in seven starts at Double-A last year. After the season, he played in the Arizona Fall League.

Boston has two other players who will be free agents after the season:

• Outfielder Kevin Pillar seems a sure bet to be moved; a good, veteran fielder who is showing he can still contribute.

• Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. would be desired for his glove work. The only reason the Red Sox would not trade JBJ is if they want to re-sign him. It’s tempting, but Bradley’s career .236 average (.723 OPS) may have Boston looking elsewhere. (Sea Dogs outfielder Jarren Duran has been impressing in intrasquad games, as part of Boston’s player pool, and though his glove does not match Bradley’s – few do – his offense is projected higher.)

First baseman Mitch Moreland could be dealt. He’s having a great season and turns 35 in September. But the Red Sox also have a club option in 2021 for only $3 million. It’s not a bad idea to keep an experienced, affordable, clutch bat around.

The 2021 season has to be better for Boston. As for 2020, play out the schedule, with an eye on the big picture.

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