Yet another free agent that fans have been begging the Blue Jays to (re)sign has come off the board. Raimel Tapia is signing a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox per himself on Instagram and Jon Heyman on Twitter.
Tapia, 28, is no stranger to the AL East, as he spent the entirety of the 2022 season as a member of our very own Toronto Blue Jays. He has gone unsigned for so long during this offseason that a potential reunion on a minor league contract could've been a legitimate possibility for him and the Jays.
Instead, he will head to another AL East club in the Boston Red Sox.
Tapia re-signing with the Jays would've put him below every outfield option on the 40-man roster so any shot of seeing him in the bigs would've been a longshot, but his signing with the Red Sox is an even more curious move, as he is now set to be underneath even more players than he would've with the Jays.
The Red Sox just signed Adam Duvall to a one-year deal and also have Japanese star Masataka Yoshida on hand as the everyday left fielder. Alex Verdugo is returning as the club's right fielder with Kiké Hernández, Enmanuel Valdez, Rob Refsnyder, David Hamilton, Jarren Duran, Ceddanne Rafaela and Wilyer Abreu all also on the 40-man roster.
This goes without mentioning a few of the other NRI (non-roster invitees) that will be in major league Spring Training for the Sox alongside Tapia. Switch-hitting speedster Greg Allen was recently brought aboard on a minors deal as was former Cubs outfielder Narciso Crook and utilityman Niko Goodrum.
Tapia's Blue Jays career ends (at least, for now) with just a single 128-game showing in 2022 in which he hit 20 doubles, seven home runs and posted a 91 OPS+. Injuries forced his bat into the lineup more than anyone thought would be the case but he did an excellent job for someone who was projected to be a scarely used fourth or fifth outfield option for the club.