The Miami Marlins could be on the verge of hitting the reset button at catcher, after signing former backstop Jorge Alfaro to a minor league deal.
Have you ever wondered what going back to square one looks like?
The Miami Marlins no longer have to do so, not after Tuesday morning’s news. Per the Miami Herald’s Jordan McPherson, Jorge Alfaro is once again part of the Marlins organization after signing a minor league deal. Not even two full seasons after moving on from their former backstop, Miami is on the verge of essentially hitting the reset button at the catcher position.
So what exactly does this mean for the Miami Marlins moving forward?
For the 2023 Miami Marlins, it could mean nothing. This is a minor league contract, after all. Alfaro has been passed around from team to team nearly as often as he allowed a ball to pass him at the plate since coming into the league. If he puts on a Marlins uniform this year, it will be his third team of the season. In terms of batting average (.146) and on base percentage (.212), he’s been significantly worse than Jacob Stallings (.188/.290) and Nick Fortes (.221/.270).
Without question, this is a warning shot across the bow for Stallings and Fortes. Neither one of them has played well enough statistically to justify staying in the starting lineup of a playoff contender. And the two aspects of Alfaro’s game that have always made him intriguing to MLB front offices? Power and arm strength … not exactly calling cards of either of the Marlins current catchers. Especially the arm strength. The futility level has never been higher when it comes to having any reasonable expectation for a Miami catcher to control the running game. More than anything else, it might be the hope that Alfaro could slow down opposing baserunners that has led the Marlins to roll the dice here.
As for the 2024 club? Only further proof here that zero chance exists that both Stallings and Fortes return next season. It’s a battle for backup backstop between those two the rest of the year, one where Fortes has the inside and track and Stallings is fervently praying that Sandy Alcantara pitches like the Cy Young-winning version of himself the rest of the way while simultaneously giving Stallings the credit.
Ultimately, this is probably just a depth move. Alfaro is familiar with some of the staff and some of the coaches. He’s more likely to hit for extra bases than Stallings, and is certainly a better baserunner. Technically, he even has playoff experience. All of this being said in the sense that he’s just what you want as Plan C at catcher if your club is playing for something late in the season.
But the talent gap between Plan B and Plan C is also razor thin in this case. Marlins fans shouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if Alfaro is back catching games in loanDepot by the end of August.