Cubs release veteran backup catcher Jorge Alfaro ahead of Opening Day

Chicago will head into the 2024 season with a catching tandem of Miguel Amaya and Yan Gomes.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Always an extremely long shot to make the Opening Day roster, especially once it was clear the Chicago Cubs would not carry three catchers, Jorge Alfaro's brief stint with the organization has come to a close.

The Cubs released Alfaro, 30, allowing him to explore opportunities with other teams with the 2024 regular season days from starting. As Maddie Lee of the Sun-Times notes, Alfaro had the option to opt out of the minor league deal he signed with the club if he didn't get added to Chicago's 40-man, but it's unclear if that's what happened here or if the Cubs simply moved on.

Either way, the journeyman backstop will look to catch on somewhere else, but it's hard to envision a scenario where he gets anything more than a minor-league deal at this point. In an ideal world, maybe the Cubs stashed him at Iowa for catching depth, but there are teams with clearer paths to playing time for the veteran than in Chicago at this point.

Cubs set behind the plate as Jorge Alfaro looks for a new opportunity

Veteran Yan Gomes returns for his third season on the North Side, ready to split catching duties with former top prospect Miguel Amaya, who made his MLB debut last season. Amaya has a chance to cement himself as the team's long-term answer behind the dish with a strong showing in 2024 and has drawn rave reviews this spring from the team's coaches and pitching staff.

Alfaro, formerly a consensus top-50 prospect in the game, has struggled in recent years, especially at the plate. Since the start of the 2020 season, he's managed a slash line of just .236/.278/.354, which works out to be about 25% below league average with the bat using OPS+. He hasn't graded out particularly well behind the dish, either, but I doubt that'll stop a team from bringing him into the fold.