Tapia signed a minor league deal with Boston during the offseason, and after his contract was selected, Tapia locked in a $2MM salary for the 2023 season. The Sox are still on the hook for the remainder (roughly $1.22MM) of that money owed, and that salary could be why teams passed on Tapia on the DFA wire. An interested club can now sign Tapia to a minors contract and only owe him the prorated MLB average salary, with the Red Sox covering the rest.
The 29-year-old Tapia is hitting .264/.333/.368 over 97 plate appearances this season, roughly in line with the career .277/.318/.392 slash line he carried with the Rockies and Blue Jays from 2016-22. Limited mostly to facing right-handed pitching this year, Tapia has a hit a strong .309/.373/.441 in 76 PA against righties, and he has seen action for the Red Sox in all three outfield positions.
Since Tapia has over five years of Major League experience, he had the right to reject an outright assignment to Triple-A and elect free agency. It could be that Tapia planned to take this avenue anyway, so the Sox simply opted to release him after no trade possibilities emerged when Tapia was on the waiver wire. Given Tapia’s track record as a respectable backup outfield option and his good numbers against right-handed pitching, it seems likely that he’ll catch on with another team in relatively short order.
Dermody has been outrighted before in his career, so he also had the option to elect free agency but he has instead decided to remain in Boston’s organization. In cup-of-coffee fashion, Dermody was selected to the Red Sox roster and then DFA’ed on the same day, with a four-inning start against the Guardians on June 8 sandwiched in between the two transactions. It marked the first Major League start for Dermody, though he has started regularly in the minors and in his non-affiliated stints in the KBO League and with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters.
That one outing gave Dermody appearances in five different MLB seasons, though 23 of his 31 career games came with the Blue Jays in 2017. The southpaw will likely continue starting at Triple-A Worcester, where he has a 4.50 ERA over 44 innings with a 24.4% strikeout rate and 4.7% walk rate.