Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox are not done cooking. Despite a slow start to the off-season, and no big moves coming out of the winter meetings, the Sox have made a lot of moves lately.
After signing All-Star Adam Duvall, Red Sox fans woke up Thursday morning to find more exciting news. Former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Raimel Tapia, who is now a free agent, posted a Boston Red Sox logo to his Instagram story. This of course indicating that Tapia was shipping his talents up to Boston.
As first reported by Jon Heyman of the New York Post, Tapia’s deal is a minor league contract, with a chance to make the opening day roster.
Tapia slashed a serviceable .265/.292/.380 with 52 RBIs and 7 home runs last season. Much of Tapia’s production came at Fenway, where he went 9-30 (.300 BA) with two home runs, 12 RBIs, and a .900 OPS. Tapia’s minor league deal comes as somewhat of a surprise. Especially after being projected for a $5.2 million arbitration deal. The Jays however decided to non-tender him instead.
He’ll join an absolutely stacked outfield in Boston, most likely as a depth piece. The Sox outfield already consists of Alex Verdugo, Masataka Yoshida, Adam Duvall, Rob Refsnyder, and possibly Kike Hernández (unless he’s moved to the infield). Tapia will likely compete with Jarren Duran in spring training for a bench spot on the major league roster.
The addition of Tapia adds more depth to the Sox, who were severely plagued by injuries last season. Tapia will also add some swagger to a Red Sox team that is shaping up to be pretty fun with the recent addition of Jorge Alfaro, along with Hernandez and Verdugo.
Tapia and Duran have some similarities. Both are speedy outfielders who have some pop. Like Duran though, Tapia’s defensive abilities leave much to be desired. Tapia is in the 12th percentile in Outs Above Average and the 10th percentile for Outfielder Jump.
He does, however, have a cannon for an arm, as reflected in his 83rd percentile ranking for arm strength. Many Sox fans will remember Tapia for hitting the ball that Duran lost in the lights. That play resulting in an inside-the-park grand slam for Tapia during the Jays’ historic 28-5 blowout of the Sox at home.
If Tapia makes the major league roster, we hope to see this kind of production from him again, but this time for the Sox.
Featured photo by G Fiume/Getty Images