Blue Jays news: Old friend signings and retirements, free agent pool, MLB news

 Eric Treuden
Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
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Old friends dominating the headlines in Jays Nation

Blue Jays fans woke up Wednesday morning to see that Raimel Tapia, who spent the 2022 campaign as a member of the Jays, signed with the division rival Boston Red Sox.

Tapia, 28, played in 128 games for the Jays last year after a whole slew of injuries led to him getting everyday playing time. He hit 20 doubles, seven home runs, drove in 52 runs and played solid defense at all three positions in the outfield.

Another familiar face in Kevin Pillar signed with the Atlanta Braves on a minor league contract. Pillar, 34, played the first seven years of his career as a Blue Jay and had an exciting blend of speed and defense that he consistently brought to the field for the club.

Elsewhere, two retirements of former Blue Jays players were officially announced on Wednesday.

Melky Cabrera, whose solid career was overshadowed by controversies, formally retired. He was a member of the Blue Jays in 2013 and 2014, hitting 19 home runs and posting a combined .293 batting average in 227 games for the club.

David Phelps, 36, is also calling it a career. He was on the Blue Jays just last season and put up in the best performance of his ten-year career. Phelps was a popular player who many fans were hoping the club would bring back. This explains why nothing came to be between player and club.

Free agent market is thinning

The Blue Jays could still use one more experienced outfield option on their big league club. Nothing against the likes of Otto López, Nathan Lukes or Spencer Horwitz, but a veteran addition to be the fourth or even fifth outfielder would be the way to go for this version of the Jays.

Unfortunately, the free agent market is thinning for outfielders, especially ones who hit from the right side, which is where the Blue Jays should be focused after adding lefties Kevin Kiermaier, Daulton Varsho and Brandon Belt to the everyday lineup earlier in the offseason.

Each of Andrew McCutchen, AJ Pollock, Adam Duvall, Brian Anderson and Tommy Pham have found new homes recently. All five of these players would've been great additions for the Jays. Now, only Robbie Grossman and Jurickson Profar remain, but both players come with something to be excited about on offense, so a deal is still there to be made.

News around Major League Baseball

The Oakland Athletics have a strong trade chip on their roster in Ramón Laureano, but reports are beginning to surface (subscription required) that the club may not be looking to move him after all.

Chris Paddack of the Minnesota Twins was signed to a three-year, $12.5M contract extension that will buyout his remaining two years of arbitration eligibility and his first year of free agency.

The Red Sox traded pitching prospect Connor Seabold to the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named later or cash. Seabold, 26, had struggled in a brief cameo in the big leagues but has looked promising throughout his minor league career.

The Tampa Bay Rays have been busy adding to their minor league depth, bringing aboard each of Heath Hembree, Ben Heller, Zack Burdi, Trevor Kelley and Elvin Rodríguez on minor league deals.

Jurickson Profar, a potential free agent target for the Blue Jays, is reportedly drawing interest from a few other teams including the Texas Rangers and Miami Marlins.

Next. Blue Jays hire Ashley Stephenson as High-A Vancouver coach. dark

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