SAN DIEGO — Here at baseball’s annual Winter Meetings, it doesn’t take long to understand the hottest issues on the table.
The Yankees’ pursuit of Aaron Judge is clearly No. 1.
But No. 2? Pressure. Pressure on the Mets to replace Jacob deGrom and continue the upward trajectory the franchise has been striving for. Pressure on the Angels not to waste another year of Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout on the same roster.
And pressure on Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom to pull the Sox out of the cellar in the American League East.
If this is Bloom’s worst offseason, it could be his last.
It’s hard to imagine another wasted season will be enough to give Bloom more time as the lead architect of the world’s 30th-most valuable sports franchise, a club worth almost $4 billion according to Forbes’ annual report that came out in September.
It comes down to winning, or, at the very least, developing a perception that the team is trending upwards towards winning in the near future.
The United States are witnessing that in the World Cup. The U.S. Men’s National Team came into the tournament with moderate to low expectations and barely met them, but they had the youngest roster in the 32-team field, showed flashes of brilliance and clear improvement while making it easy for fans to see the upward trajectory needed to get excited about 2026.
The U.S. finished in 16th place, and yet most fans would probably say they’re satisfied with what they saw.
The Red Sox, however, aren’t winning in the present, nor have they painted a picture of how they’re going to win in the near future.