Poll: Have the Red Sox improved this winter?
For the third-straight day, the Boston Red Sox have made supplemental signings to a major league roster desperately in need of help.
The latest player to be added to the club is 28-year-old outfielder Raimel Tapia, who featured in 128 games for the Blue Jays last season and hit .265/7/52.
Like many of Boston's signings this winter, following in the footsteps of Jorge Alfaro and Adam Duvall, it does little to "move the needle" in Red Sox Nation. Even the "big" splashes like Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen and Corey Kluber were met with subdued excitement. If this was 2015, those signings would get the blood flowing. But it's not, and in baseball years those guys are all AARP eligible.
The direction of the club appears to be "let's sign a bunch of old and cheap dudes to 1-year deals or minor league contracts and hope to catch lightning in a bottle like 2013."
The current lineup and bench looks like this, as of today:
1. Yoshida (LF), 2. Turner (DH), 3. Devers (3B), 4. Duvall (CF), 5. Verdugo (RF), 6. Hernandez (SS), 7. Casas (1B), 8. Arroyo (2B), 9. McGuire (C).
Bench: Tapia (OF), Refsnyder (utility), Alfaro (C), Dalbec (1B/3B) and maybe Duran, if he can show he's got it at the major league level.
The rotation is still a work-in-progress. Boston has said it will employ a traditional 5-man rotation, Cora & Co. just need to decide who those five arms are between Sale, Paxton, Pivetta, Kluber, Bello, Whitlock and Houck.
The bullpen should be pretty solid, especially compared to recent years, but what use is a good bullpen to a last-place team? That's where the Sox were a season ago and the question is still very much deserving of being asked - has Boston improved at all this winter?