HomeMLB RumorsCubs Release Jorge Alfaro - MLB Trade Rumors

Cubs Release Jorge Alfaro – MLB Trade Rumors

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The Cubs released catcher Jorge Alfaro this evening, per Maddie Lee of the Chicago Sun Times.

Alfaro, 31 in June, was in camp with the club on a minor league deal and had been informed last week that he wouldn’t make the club’s Opening Day roster out of camp. As an Article XX(B) free agent, Alfaro had the right to opt out of his minors deal with Chicago if not added to the 40-man roster. It’s unclear if he ever formally exercised that right, but he’ll now return to the open market where he can pursue opportunities elsewhere that may provide a clearer path to playing time at the big league level.

Once a consensus top-50 prospect in the sport, Alfaro was part of multiple significant trades as a youngster. After initially signing with the Rangers as an international free agent, he was included as part of the prospect package the club sent to Philadelphia in the Cole Hamels trade at the 2015 trade deadline. He made his big league debut with the Phillies the following year and slashed a solid .270/.327/.422 in 143 games with the club across three seasons before once again finding himself moved as part of the return in a blockbuster. This time, Alfaro was shipped to Miami as part of the return for All Star catcher J.T. Realmuto during the 2018-19 offseason.

Alfaro’s first season with the Marlins went rather well, as he slashed a respectable .262/.312/.425 with 18 home runs in 465 trips to the plate. His defense behind the plate left something to be desired, however, and over the next two seasons Alfaro would begin to deal with similar struggles on offense. In 123 games with the Marlins between the 2020 and 2021 seasons, he hit just .240/.282/.343 in 411 trips to the plate. That performance was good for a wRC+ of just 69, 31% worse than the league average hitter over that same period.

With his struggles with the glove now compounded by struggles at the plate, the Marlins decided to move on from Alfaro during the 2021-22 offseason by moving him to the Padres in a cash deal. Alfaro rebounded somewhat to post a decent 91 wRC+ in 82 games with the Padres in 2022 but found himself non-tendered that November, after which point he spent the 2023 campaign bouncing between several organizations while spending time with the Red Sox and Rockies at the major league level.

Looking ahead, it would be something of a surprise to see Alfaro land a major league deal given his struggles in recent years. With that being said, the Colombia native’s prospect pedigree and previous offensive success at a position where upper-level depth is particularly valuable should make him one of the more attractive options to catching-needy clubs available on the market at this stage of the offseason, and it’s easy to imagine him finding a minor league deal where he’ll be more likely to impact the big league roster than he was in Chicago, where the Cubs are poised to rely on a tandem of Yan Gomes and Miguel Amaya behind the plate.

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