Red Sox reassign Jorge Alfaro to minor-leagues, clearing way for Connor Wong to make team

In addition to optioning infielder Bobby Dalbec to Triple-A Worcester on Monday, the Red Sox also reassigned catcher Jorge Alfaro to minor-league camp. Put another way, Dalbec and Alfaro will start the season with the WooSox.

Alfaro signed a minor-league contract with the Red Sox in January. The deal came with an invite to major-league spring training as well as an upward mobility clause that granted the 29-year-old backstop the ability to seek a big-league opportunity elsewhere if Boston did not give him one.

According to’s Christopher Smith, though, the window for Alfaro to exercise his opt-out has now passed, meaning he will remain in the organization without occupying a spot on the 40-man roster.

In nine games with the Red Sox this spring, the right-handed hitting Alfaro went 11-for-23 (.478) at the plate with three doubles, two home runs, six RBIs, three runs scored, one walk, and six strikeouts. He also allowed one passed ball and threw out one of seven possible base stealers in the process of logging 43 innings behind the plate.

Alfaro came into camp looking to compete with Connor Wong for a spot on Boston’s Opening Day roster as the No. 2 catcher behind Reese McGuire. Though Wong missed a significant amount of time this spring with a Grade 1 left hamstring strain, Alfaro was also away from the team for about two weeks earlier this month while playing for his native Colombia in the World Baseball Classic.

Wong made his return to Boston’s lineup for the first time since March 2 in Monday’s Grapefruit League game against the Braves in Northport. He went 0-for-3 and caught seven innings. When speaking with reporters (including Smith) beforehand, Red Sox manager Alex Cora indicated that he was confident the 26-year-old would be ready for Opening Day despite the lack of at-bats he has gotten and the lack of innings caught this spring.

“If everything goes well, we’re very comfortable with him at-bats-wise,” Cora said of Wong. “He got plenty [of] behind-the-plate repetitions. If we make the decision, it’s because we’re comfortable with it.”

Wong, who turns 27 in May, is now slated to make his first Opening Day roster as a big-leaguer. The right-handed hitter is well-regarded for his defense and figures to form a tandem of sorts with the left-handed hitting McGuire to begin the season.

Alfaro, meanwhile, will report to Worcester. He has the right to opt out of his contract with the Red Sox if he is not added to the 26-man roster by June 1 or July 1 at the latest. If Alfaro does make it to Boston this season, he will receive a base salary of $2 million.

In the meantime, Alfaro will provide the Red Sox with some valuable catching depth in Worcester alongside the likes of Caleb Hamilton and Ronaldo Hernandez. Cora noted on Monday that it was important to keep Alfaro in the organization so that he could continue to work on his receiving skills.

“It’s important in a selfish way,” Cora explained. “You want all these guys to be big leaguers but I think to have him here, he made some strides defensively. We’re very comfortable with it compared to last year. I think [catching instructor Jason Varitek] feels like there’s a lot of improvement, especially with the one-knee down position.

“This guy, he communicates well,” added Cora. “He has a good feel with the pitching staff. It’s just a numbers game at some point. And where we’re at right now, we feel comfortable with the guys that we have and obviously comfortable with him staying in the organization.”

By optioning Dalbec and reassigning Alfaro to minor-league camp, the Red Sox have 36 players remaining on their major-league spring training roster. Three of those players (Raimel Tapia, Greg Allen, and Niko Goodrum) are in camp as non-roster invitees. Seven others (Brayan Bello, Wyatt Mills, James Paxton, Joely Rodriguez, Garrett Whitlock, Adalberto Mondesi, and Trevor Story) are expected to start the season on the injured list. Story is already on the 60-day injured list, so he does not count against the 40-man roster.

(Picture of Jorge Alfaro: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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