Red Sox

McAdam: Chaim Bloom sees improvement in store for 2021, but acknowledges return to top will take time

(Jim Davis/ The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Though they made some improvements to the major league roster, and, thanks to some dead money, will have one of the handful of biggest payrolls in Major League Baseball for 2021, the Red Sox are very obviously not "going for it'' this season.

If a glance at the personnel doesn't prove that, then Red Sox CEO and president Sam Kennedy confirmed it last month when he conceded to the Boston Globe that "it would be inaccurate to say we are going for it with an all-in approach that perhaps we did prior to the 2018 title... (W)e are building back up.''

On paper, the Red Sox don't have the talent to match the defending division champion Tampa Bay Rays. Nor can they match the New York Yankees or Toronto Blue Jays, two other division rivals who qualified for the (expanded) playoffs in 2020.

Given that it would take a near-perfect scenario for the Sox to qualify for the postseason for the first time since their World Series victory in 2018, what, then, are the goals for 2021? And what would have to happen for the Red Sox, regardless of their win total or place in the American League East standings, to have a successful season?