Boston Red Sox

Chaim Bloom and the Boston Red Sox are far from finished building what most would consider a competitive club — especially when you consider the gauntlet that is the American League East — for the 2023 season.

And though their continued high-and-low scouring of the thinning free agent market won’t deliver a banner in the now, it did come with another pair of veterans added to the mix by Bloom & Co. on Thursday.

  • Jul 22, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Raimel Tapia (15) reacts after hitting an inside the park grand slam during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

    Jul 22, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Raimel Tapia (15) reacts after hitting an inside the park grand slam during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Starting in the outfield, the Red Sox added Raimel Tapia on a minor-league contract.

    The contract for Tapia, which was first announced via Tapia’s personal Instagram and later confirmed by MLB insider Jon Heyman, comes after a 2022 season spent with the Blue Jays.

    In action for 128 games with Toronto, the lefty-throwing and swinging Tapia put up a .265 average with seven home runs and a career-high 52 RBIs. Tapia also hit at least 20 doubles for the third time in his MLB career, and his seven homers were just two off from his previous career-high of nine, set in 2019 with the Rockies.

  • But the Red Sox are hoping that the 28-year-old Tapia can bring some of his Fenway magic to the Red Sox this time around, as he absolutely smoked the Sox in their own park in 2022, with a 9-for-30 (.300) effort that included two home runs and 12 RBIs in just six games in Boston last season.

    A veteran of 567 career games between the Rockies and Blue Jays, Tapia comes to Boston with a .277 career average, along with 26 home runs, 188 RBIs, and 53 stolen bases over seven seasons of MLB work.

    Tapia also has experience playing all three outfield positions, but was used primarily as a left fielder during his one-year run in Toronto.

    It’s worth mentioning that this has been an outfielder-heavy offseason for the Red Sox, with Tapia the latest signing in an offseason that’s been headlined by the additions of Japanese star Masataka Yoshida and veteran Adam Duvall.

    It could simply be the Red Sox loading up on capable options, a sign that Kiké Hernandez is destined for a return to the infield on a full-time basis, or it could spell bad news for someone like Alex Verdugo.

  • Jul 24, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Raimel Tapia (15) hits a RBI triple during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

    Jul 24, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Raimel Tapia (15) hits a RBI triple during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Aug 21, 2022; San Diego, California, USA;  San Diego Padres relief pitcher Nick Martinez (21) greets catcher Jorge Alfaro (38) after the game against Washington Nationals at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo/USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 21, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Nick Martinez (21) greets catcher Jorge Alfaro (38) after the game against Washington Nationals at Petco Park. (Ray Acevedo/USA TODAY Sports)

  • And in addition to Tapia, the Red Sox inked catcher Jorge Alfaro to a minor-league deal. Word of Alfaro’s deal with the Red Sox was first reported by MassLive’s Chris Cotillo.

    The signing of the 29-year-old Alfaro comes in the wake of the ex-Padres backstop absolutely destroying the Dominican Winter League, and with MVP honors of the Finals after going 8-for-19 with two homers and four RBIs for the Licey Tigres.

  • In action for 82 games with San Diego last year, Alfaro hit .246 with seven home runs and 40 RBIs. His 40 RBIs were his second-best single-season high, trailing only a 57-RBI season in 2019. Alfaro’s 14 doubles were his third-most in any season since jumping to the pros on a full-time basis in 2018.

    A veteran of seven seasons between the Phillies, Marlins, and Padres, Alfaro comes to Boston with a career average of .256 to go with a .305 on-base percentage and .701 OPS, along with 47 home runs and 194 RBIs, in 478 games played.

    Alfaro’s best year came back in 2019, when he appeared in a career-high 130 games for the Marlins, and finished with career-best marks in home runs (18), RBIs (57), and hits (113).

  • Aug 2, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres designated hitter Jorge Alfaro (38) gestures toward the Padres dugout after hitting an RBI single during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 2, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; Padres designated hitter Jorge Alfaro (38) gestures toward the Padres dugout after hitting an RBI single during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies. (Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Alfaro provides the Red Sox with a veteran option behind their current catcher tandem of late-season standout Reese McGuire and prospect Connor Wong.

    Acquired from the White Sox ahead of the 2022 trade deadline, McGuire looked to be a solid fit for the club, with a .337 average with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 36 appearances with the Red Sox. Still, the 27-year-old McGuire has played just 230 games in his MLB career, and last year’s 89-game run between Boston and Chicago was a career-high, meaning he’s no sure thing to be ‘the guy’ behind the plate for the Red Sox in 2023.

    Wong, meanwhile, was part of the return from the Dodgers in the infamous Mookie Betts trade of 2020, and has appeared in just 33 games for the Red Sox since the start of the 2021 season.

    The 26-year-old Wong has hit .213 with one home run and eight RBIs during his MLB run with the Sox.