Red Sox make promotions within amateur scouting department by elevating Paul Toboni, Devin Pearson

The Red Sox have promoted Paul Toboni from director of amateur scouting to a vice president role in charge of amateur scouting and player development, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Toboni, 32, has spent the last three seasons as Boston’s amateur scouting director after being named to the position in September 2019. The native Californian oversaw the 2020, 2021, and 2022 drafts, which saw the Red Sox select (and sign) the likes of top prospects Nick Yorke, Blaze Jordan, Marcelo Mayer, Niko Kavadas, and Mikey Romero, among others.

After playing baseball and graduating from The University of California, Berkeley in 2012, Toboni went on to earn his Masters of Business Administration from The University of Notre Dame two years later. He got his start in professional baseball by interning with the Oakland Athletics during the 2013 season.

Before the start of the 2015 campaign, Toboni joined the Red Sox’ baseball operations department in a similar capacity. He then served as an area scout who was responsible for covering northern Texas and northern Louisiana from October 2015 until November 2016. From 2017-2019, he operated as the club’s assistant director of amateur scouting under Mike Rikard.

Rikard was named Boston’s vice president of scouting towards the end of the 2019 season, allowing Toboni to assume the role of amateur scouting director. Now a vice president himself, Toboni is slated to join Rikard and vice president of scouting development and integration Gus Quattlebaum in that regard.

With Toboni’s elevation, Speier also reports that assistant director of amateur scouting Devin Pearson has been promoted to director of amateur scouting.

Pearson, 28, was originally taken by the Blue Jays in the 30th round of the 2012 draft out of Carmel High School. Rather than go pro, though, he elected to go to college and — like Toboni — graduated from UC Berkeley in 2016.

The following February, Pearson began an internship within the Red Sox’ professional scouting department. He moved on to the amateur side of things that October before being elevated to assistant amateur scouting director in Sept. 2019.

The son of former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Dennis Pearson, Devin is set to turn 29 in January. He and Toboni will presumably play a key role in overseeing Boston’s amateur scouting efforts moving forward.

(Picture of Fenway Park: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Red Sox to hire Mike Groopman as new assistant general manager, per report; Former Brewers executive will oversee Boston’s analytics department

The Red Sox are hiring Brewers vice president of international scouting and player personnel Mike Groopman to become one of the team’s new assistant general managers, according to The Athletic’s Chad Jennings and Ken Rosenthal.

Groopman, 36, is a native of Brookline, Mass. He spent the last four years with the Brewers after initially being hired as the club’s director of international scouting in November 2017.

Under Milwaukee general manager/president of baseball operations David Stearns, Groopman oversaw the Brewers’ “international scouting efforts, focusing on player evaluation and acquisition, as well as the management of the international scouting staff, infrastructure and process.”

He also provided “international player personnel leadership and [worked] closely with staffs involved in Dominican Republic Academy player development,” per the team’s media guide.

A graduate of Columbia University, Groopman’s career in baseball began when he served as a baseball operations intern within the Reds’ front office in 2006. He undertook the same role with the Mets a year later and also interned for Major League Baseball’s labor relation department in 2008.

That same year, Groopman joined the Royals organization as a baseball operations intern and wound up spending 10 years with Kansas City as an intern, baseball operations administrative assistant, assistant to baseball operations, director of baseball analytics, and director of baseball operations/analytics.

It is worth noting that Groopman was a member of the Royals’ front office when the club won back-to-back American League pennants in 2014 and 2015 and won its second World Series title in franchise history in 2015.

According to’s Adam McCalvy, Groopman oversaw Kansas City’s analytics department in his role as the club’s director of baseball operations and applied the skills he obtained there “to the international arena” while with Milwaukee.

Like Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, Groopman once wrote for Baseball Prospectus and attended an Ivy League school, so the two have something in common there.

Groopman, per Jennings and Rosenthal, will officially join the Sox’ front office “soon after the holiday,” though it’s unclear if that means after Thanksgiving or after Christmas.

The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams reports that in his new role, Groopman will oversee Boston’s analytics department. He will become the third assistant general manager on Bloom and general manager Brian O’Halloran’s staff by joining the likes of Raquel Ferreira and Eddie Romero.

UPDATE: For what it’s worth, Groopman has officially joined the Red Sox front office. His formal title is senior vice president/assistant general manager.

(Picture of Chaim Bloom: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Blogging the Red Sox Presents: An Interview With Chaim Bloom

When Major League Baseball first suspended spring training and delayed the start of the 2020 season back in March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I sent an email to Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom asking if I could send him a handful of questions pertaining to those aforementioned events taking place.

It took some time, but after sorting things out with the club’s media relations department over the last few weeks, I have in my virtual possession the written responses to the questions I sent him.

Rather than structure this article like a story you would typically see on here, I am instead going to enclose the “transcript” of the “interview” below. So please enjoy, and remember, these questions were sent earlier in the spring, before this year’s draft and before MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he’s not “100%” confident there will be a season this year.

Would you rather the Red Sox host spring training workouts in Boston or Fort Myers?

Chaim Bloom: This is such a unique year – it forces us to rethink everything that goes into spring training. There are certainly benefits to both places and we’re hoping to get a clearer idea of exactly what 2020 will look like before we firm up a plan. In the meantime, we’re working on parallel tracks to make sure we’re ready for whatever makes the most sense once we see the schedule as a whole.

How has it been preparing for this year’s draft with less material to go over than usual?

Bloom: The process to prepare for the 2020 draft really favored those staffs who had done their homework in the summer and the fall. When you have a hard-working staff with a lot of continuity, which we do, that’s one aspect we were well prepared to take advantage of. The biggest challenge for all 30 clubs was how to weigh those spring samples, which were either small or nonexistent. If a player changed dramatically from what he’d been, how much weight do you put on that? Is that who he is now – was it a real step forward or back – or was it just a small-sample fluke? Those types of discussions were some of the most interesting that we had amongst our staff.

Who in the front office or scouting department would be best at convincing undrafted players to sign with the Red Sox for up to $20,000?

Bloom: The decision to play pro ball is a very personal one for a lot of players and this year is no different. We certainly want to make the case to interested players that we’re the organization that can get the most out of them and maximize their potential. But we also want this to be a mutual fit, who see themselves as well-positioned to take advantage of what we have to offer. When those things line up, we will be set up well to have success in development.

Despite the current freeze placed on any sort of roster moves, have you had any conversations with free agents or other general managers during this period?

Bloom: Along with others in the front office, I’ve continued to speak to counterparts and contacts throughout the game, but not to discuss trades or roster moves. That’s just not appropriate right now and there have been many other issues to worry about.

As a spectator, how different would it be for you to watch Major League Baseball be played in empty ballparks? Would that impact the way you view or analyze a certain player since there would be no crowd noise to react to?

Bloom: It would be different, that’s for sure. I don’t think we know exactly how players will react. But I’d be hesitant to give too much blame or credit to the attendance (or lack thereof) when assessing how a player performs. There’s so much that goes into what these guys do that I don’t know how we could separate the signal from the noise. They’re pros and I have every reason to think they’ll be locked in when the time comes to compete.

Finally, how odd has it been to not have any live stateside baseball to watch at this point in the year? There are obviously more pressing issues at hand in this country, but as someone who has been part of a major-league front office in some capacity since 2005, this has to be kind of strange, no?

Bloom: No question. This is not an experience that has been fun for anyone in the game. We’ve done what we can to make the most of the time, but we’re all in this because we love baseball and when there isn’t any, it’s a downer. Having said that, we know that public health and the safety of our players, our staff, and our fans is and should be higher priorities. Those things have to come first, but we’re hopeful that we can provide some entertainment for our fans during this really difficult period.

Thank you to Chaim Bloom and Red Sox vice president of media relations Kevin Gregg for making this possible. 

Red Sox Reportedly Planning on Offering Rafael Devers Contract Extension This Offseason

The Red Sox are reportedly planning on offering third baseman Rafael Devers a contract extension this offseason, according to WEEI’s Rob Bradford. An offer has yet to be extended to Devers at this point in time.

Devers, who turns 23 in October, is wrapping up what looks to be a top-seven finish in American League Most Valuable Player voting kind of season, as he entered Saturday slashing .309/.360/.556 to go along with a career-best 32 home runs and career-best 115 RBI over 154 games played.

The budding star infielder earned approximately $614,500 in his second full major league season in 2019, and is projected to earn somewhere around $800,000 in his final year of being pre-arbitration eligible in 2020, per The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

With all the recent rumblings about the Red Sox wanting to get under the $208 million threshold for the 2020 campaign, it may seem confusing as to why the club would want to commit a large sum of money to one player.

However, as Bradford points out, any extension attached to Devers more than likely would not come into effect until after 2020, meaning the 22-year-old would still earn that $800,000 in salary or so next season.

The same sort of thing happened with the Houston Astros and third baseman Alex Bregman this past March, when the two sides agreed to a six-year, $100 million contract extension.

Bregman, who will more than likely finish as the runner-up in AL MVP voting this year, is still earning a base and luxury tax salary of $640,500 in 2019 while his extension does not kick in until 2020.

With shortstop Xander Bogaerts already locked up through at least the 2022 season, the Red Sox have a real chance to secure the left side of their infield for years to come.