Alvarez is rehabbing his Achilles in hopes of returning to the majors in 2019, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. Alvarez appeared in 21 games for the Marlins in spring training, hitting .324/.400/.647 with three homers in those appearances, but opted to become a free agent after being informed he wouldn't be on the team's Opening Day roster.
Alvarez opted out of his minor-league contract Saturday with the Marlins and has 48 hours to decide whether to remain in the organization, Andre Fernandez of The Athletic reports. Alvarez exercised the opt-out after being informed he would not make the Opening Day roster, and now has a chance to pursue other opportunities. The veteran slugger would be headed to Triple-A New Orleans should he choose to stay with the Marlins.
Alvarez went 2-for-2 with two home runs, three runs scored and five RBI in Saturday's spring game against the Mets. Alvarez had only two extra-base hits this spring prior to Saturday, but was able to go deep twice after entering the game as a pinch runner. The 32-year-old joined the Marlins on a minor-league deal in December and is fighting for a place on the Opening Day roster.
Alvarez signed a minor-league contract with the Marlins on Monday which includes an invitation to spring training, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports. There are few organizations easier to battle for a roster spot with than the Marlins, but even so, Alvarez doesn't necessarily have an inside shot. He's primarily a designated hitter, having started just 13 games in the field over the last two seasons. He no longer appears to have the bat capable of carrying his value as a bat-only player, though, as he hit just .180/.283/.414 in 45 games with the Orioles last season. Some positive regression from his .179 BABIP could help, but he'll be 32 years old next season and the rebuilding Marlins will likely prefer to give playing time to younger players.
Alvarez elected free agency Thursday, Baseball America reports. Alvarez hit .180/.283/.414 with eight homers across 45 games with the Orioles before being designated for assignment. He'll now hit the open market after finishing the season with Triple-A Norfolk. Entering his age-32 season, Alvarez will likely have to settle for a minor-league deal in 2019.