According to the Miami Herald, the 34-year-old right-hander accepted a one-year contract worth up to $1.1 million yesterday. Details are limited, but indications point toward an incentive-laden contract. Update: The deal is pending a physical, which will occur after the Dominican season.
Alfonseca missed most of 2006 with elbow problems and was released by the Rangers in June. In 10 seasons, he’s 30-35 with a 3.99 ERA, to go with 121 saves. Last season, he was limited to just 16 innings, and 27 the year before.
This winter, he’s pitching with La Romana of the Domican League and was scouted by the Marlins. In 9 1-3 regular-season innings, he held batters to a .176 average (1.93 ERA) and has notched two saves. Since then, he has not allowed a run or walk in 5 1-3 round-robin innings.
According to the Herald, Alfonseca turned down the Marlins' offer of a one-year, $338,000 deal plus incentives. The Marlins have instead signed former Phillie Felix Rodriguez.
Beerleaguer: Alfonseca adds cheap experience, and probably satisfies both sides of yesterday’s debate to some degree. Besides closer Tom Gordon, he’s the only reliever on staff with playoff experience. If he stays healthy, you can bet Charlie Manuel will find significant use for him, including the potential for late-inning action. He has not been a closer since 2002 and is an unlikely answer for the setup role, which the Phillies could still address in a trade.
Call it going back on my words, but I'm mostly okay with this free agent signing, which looks like a fallback plan. Alfonseca had a career year just two seasons ago in Atlanta, in between ups and downs. That makes him no different than many veterans. I like that he brings a different look to the pen. He's big, intimidating and has been through the wars. He's a high injury risk with darkhorse 8th inning potential. This would bring the 40-man roster up to 38, with Alfonseca, Ryan Madson, Matt Smith, Geoff Geary and Tom Gordon as the most likely front-runners of the yet-to-be assembled 'pen. However, I would not expect a full, healthy season from the so-called 34-year-old.