usatsi-123009901.jpg
USATSI

Less than one year after winning the World Series, the Boston Red Sox dismissed president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, and have spent the last several weeks searching for his replacement. It appears the search may be over.

The Red Sox will hire Rays vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom to lead their front office, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Bloom will be Boston's chief baseball officer with Brian O'Halloran, a Red Sox assistant GM, serving as the team's general manager, reports MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

Bloom, 36, is regarded as one of the top up and coming GM candidates in baseball. He was the runner-up to Brodie Van Wagenen during the Mets search last offseason, and he's also interviewed for positions with the Brewers, Giants, and Phillies in recent years. Bloom was also asked to interview with the Diamondbacks, but declined.

With the Rays, Bloom was the No. 2 man in the baseball operations department behind GM Erik Neander. He started with the team as an intern more than a decade ago and has gradually climbed through the front office ranks. Bloom is regarded as a strong analytical mind with a knack for finding productive players on the cheap.

usatsi-123009901.jpg
The Red Sox are likely to hire Rays exec Chaim Bloom to be their new GM. USATSI

Red Sox ownership announced plans to cut payroll in September. They had baseball's highest payroll in 2018 ($227.4 million) and again in 2019 ($229.1 million), which is easier to swallow when you win the World Series like last year. Not so much when you win 84 games and miss the postseason by 12 games like this year.

Here are Boston's current 2020 salary commitments:

That adds up to $227.45 million. The luxury tax threshold will be $208 million next season, so, clearly, Bloom or whoever the Red Sox hire to run their baseball operations will have some work to do to reach ownership's stated payroll goal. J.D. Martinez could opt out of his contract and free up $22 million, though that would also leave a giant hole in the lineup.

Mookie Betts is projected to make $27.7 million through arbitration and will be a free agent a year from now, and there has already been speculation the Red Sox could trade him. That would free up money and also add young talent to the organization. Trading a player as good and as popular as Betts would be a difficult first move for a new GM, however.

Assistant general managers Eddie Romero, Zack Scott, and O'Halloran have been running the Red Sox since Dombrowski's dismissal along with vice president of major and minor league operations Raquel Ferreira. Ferreira is currently the highest ranking woman in an MLB front office.

Despite a disappointing 2019, the Red Sox have a very good talent base. They can build around Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Chris Sale, and Eduardo Rodriguez even if they do trade Betts. The Dodgers and Yankees were both able to remain competitive while ducking under the luxury tax threshold in recent years. Now it seems Bloom will be asked to do the same in Boston.