Alex Cora addresses relationship with Chaim Bloom after trying Red Sox season

Cora addresses relationship with Bloom after trying Red Sox season originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

To say the Boston Red Sox underachieved in 2022 would be an understatement.

After reaching Game 6 of the 2021 American League Championship Series, the Red Sox are set to finish under .500 and last in the AL East for the second time in three years. Despite those poor results, team president Sam Kennedy said both chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and manager Alex Cora will return in 2023.

But how strong is Bloom and Cora's relationship after a taxing season in which there was speculation that the team wasn't thrilled with the moves Bloom made at the MLB trade deadline?

Tomase: Red Sox will finish over the luxury tax for no good reason

Cora insists he and his boss are on the same page.

"I think it’s a really good dynamic," Cora told The Boston Globe's Alex Speier. "I think little by little, we keep growing. I told him, ‘Man, you’ve been in a tough spot. You come here, they suspend your manager, then COVID, the pandemic, and then last year was so fast. Everything happened so fast.’

"And now, I think finally we’re able to slow down -- not in a good way; we hate this. But I think finally he’s able to say, ‘OK, here’s what I want to do, this is what we’re going to do,’ and go from there. [The relationship] has been really good."

Bloom and the Red Sox appeared caught between buying and selling at the deadline, trading away starting catcher Christian Vazquez but bringing in veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer while declining to move pending free agents J.D. Martinez and Nathan Eovaldi.  While Cora wasn't publicly critical of the team's moves, ESPN's Tim Kurkjian noted last month that he was "not so sure this is the perfect marriage (of) general manager and manager."

But Cora told Speier that any suggestions of "misalignment" between him and Bloom are "inaccurate," and that he feels empowered to provide his input on front-office moves.

"This is an organization that values the way I see stuff," Cora said. "And (Bloom) has taught me a lot on the other side of the ball. I’ve learned a lot about evaluating players and seeing the game a little bit different than probably I saw it before."

The Red Sox face a critical 2023 offseason with many important decisions to make, including whether to extend franchise cornerstones Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. Those decisions ultimately fall on Bloom, but if chief baseball officer and manager can work together in a meaningful way this offseason, it will go a long way toward a better on-field product in 2023.