The Red Sox agree with the free support agent Jorge Alfaro on a minor league contract, MassLive’s Chris Cotillo says (Twitter link). He will earn a base salary of $2 million if he makes the MLB roster and will have the ability to opt out and return to free agency on both June 1 and July 1 if he hasn’t been called up yet.
Alvaro, 29, has played in each of their last seven league matches. A frontrunner in the Rangers and Phillies farm systems, he went from Texas to Philadelphia in the 2000s Cole Hamels deadline in 2015. Alfaro debuted with Philadelphia in 2016 and would spend parts of the next two seasons as the primary catcher. He displayed the tremendous strength and arm strength that made him a highly regarded minor league talent, but he managed 35.2% of his Phillie appearances.
After the 2018 season, Philadelphia placed him with him Sixto Sanchez For the Marlins’ rival squad JT Realmoto. Miami was hoping Alvaro would step in as a ready big-league replacement for the outgoing Champion. Alfaro was the starting catcher for the next three seasons, but continued to perform at an inconsistent level, thanks in large part to his strikeout problems.
The Padres took a shot at the Colombian-born player in a minor off-season trade. Alvaro made the Opening Day roster after massive spring training and went on to appear in more than half of the team’s games. He posted 274 plate appearances, hitting .246/.285/.383 with seven home runs and a 35.8% strikeout percentage. At the end of the season, San Diego did not bid him instead of keeping him for an expected refereeing salary of $3.6 million.
In just under 500 MLB games, Alfaro is a .256/.305/.396 batter. He caught 47 homers and made a lot of solid connections. His numbers on base are muted by his bulky profile and walk, though he pulls off free passes 4.2% of the time while he’s fanned out in over 34% of his runs. It was a somewhat similar surge or breakdown profile defensively. Alvaro has a first-rate throwing arm and has cut out 27.5% of base attempts over his career. However, he has also been rated as a below-average player and general receiver, as measured by Statcast and Baseball Prospectus.
While Alvaro’s overall career has been up and down, his low-risk bullish play for the Boston club has an appealing mix that is uncertain. Rhys McGuire And Connor Wong Currently looking for a loose platoon arrangement assembly behind the platter. They are the only running backs on the 40-man Red Sox roster, and neither has a solid track record as regular MLB interns. Alvaro is an experienced depth option who could fight for a job in spring training and/or start the season at Triple-A Worcester as injury insurance.
Alvaro has more than five years of major league service time, which means he cannot be selected to the minor leagues. If he ever cracks an MLB roster, Boston will either have to keep him in the majors or make him available to other clubs via trade or waivers. If Alfaro spends 89 days on the MLB active or injured list next season, he’ll cross the six-year serving threshold and qualify for free agency next season. If he has been on the list for 88 days or less overall but if there are 40 players at the end of the season, he will be eligible to officiate in the 2024 campaign.
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