The Marlins announced Monday that they’ve signed a slew of players to minor league contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training. First baseman Pedro Alvarez and middle infielders Dixon Machado and Deven Marrero have the most recent MLB experience of the bunch. Left-hander Mike Kickham, right-hander R.J. Alvarez, infielder Jon Berti and outfielder Gabriel Guerrero all have big league experience as well. Miami also made its previously reported re-signing of catcher Bryan Holaday to a minor league contract official and revealed that prized outfield addition Victor Victor Mesa will participate in Major League Spring Training.
Alvarez, 32 in February, is the most recognizable name of the bunch. The former No. 2 overall draft pick and Pirates slugger has spent the past three seasons in the Orioles organization. “El Toro” swatted 22 homers and had a solid year at the plate — primarily as a platoon designated hitter. He returned to the O’s on minor league pacts in each of the past two seasons but spent more time in Triple-A than in the Majors. Last year, Alvarez batted just .180/.283/.414 with eight homers in 127 Major League plate appearances and hit .243/.311/.446 with 16 homers in 305 Triple-A plate appearances. He’ll give the Marlins another option to compete for playing time alongside Peter O’Brien and Garrett Cooper.
Machado, 26 (and of no relation to the free-agent market’s more prominent Machado), appeared in 140 games with the Tigers from 2017-18. He’s generally regarded as a quality up-the-middle defender but didn’t provide enough hope with the bat to keep his roster spot in Detroit, even as the Tigers themselves are somewhat starved for middle-infield options. Machado batted just .229/.280/.303 in 414 PAs over the past two seasons, and he’ll give the Miami organization a glove-first depth option.
Marrero fits a similar profile. The former Red Sox first round-pick (2012) has long drawn praise for his defensive prowess but has yet to find success at the plate in parts of three seasons with Boston and another in Arizona. In 343 MLB trips to the plate, Marrero has posted a woeful .197/.250/.283 slash with five homers, 10 doubles and 10 steals. He does have experience at three infield positions, so he’ll join Machado in competing for a bench job in Miami this spring.
Kickham, soon to turn 30, will return to the Marlins organization after a solid minor league campaign in 2018. Through 42 innings (34 1/3 of which came in Triple-A), Kickham notched a 3.64 ERA with 8.1 K/9 against 1.5 BB/9. He hasn’t been in the Majors since 2014 and has surrendered 37 earned runs in 30 1/3 frames as a big leaguer, but he’s thrown well in the Miami minor league ranks since 2017.
R.J. Alvarez, 27, hasn’t appeared in the Majors since 2015 and has a career 7.39 ERA through 28 innings at the game’s top level. He’s punched out 101 hitters through 88 2/3 innings with the Rangers’ Triple-A club across the past two seasons, though he’s done so while exhibiting questionable control (48 walks).
Berti, 29 next month, received a four-game cup of coffee with the Blue Jays late in 2018, which marked his MLB debut. He’s struggled to a .593 OPS in 506 career PAs in Triple-A but posted much better numbers in Double-A. As with Machado and Marrero, he’ll provide some infield depth.
Guerrero, 24, was once considered to be one of the Mariners’ best prospects but has seen his production evaporate since reaching the Double-A level. The Reds gave him his first taste of the Majors in 2018, and he managed to connect on his first big league homer in a brief 14-game stint with Cincinnati. On the whole, though, he went 3-for-18 with eight strikeouts and no walks in his first MLB cup of coffee. There’s certainly reason to believe that a player with Guerrero’s bloodline can improve; he’s the nephew of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero and the cousin of Blue Jays uber-prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Beyond the aforementioned players, the Marlins also added catchers B.J. Lopez, Sharif Othman and Rodrigo Vigil to minor league contracts, as well as left-hander Brian Moran. None of that quartet has MLB experience, though each will have the opportunity to win a job in Spring Training, it seems. Lopez, Othman and Vigil were minor league free agents of the Marlins and each re-signed to return to the organization.
“Marlins Sign Machado” would have been quite the clickbait headline!!
I said the same thing when was released.
Do we have clearance, Clarence?
What’s our vector, Victor?
Step out the back, Jack.
Make a new plan, Stan.
No need to be coy, Roy.
The Miama Scrapheap
Dixon Machado has tons of untapped potential. His performance might surprise us.
Marlins should sign placido polanco to pad his HOF stats
Would Placido have the biggest head in mlb hof? Man I saw a picture of him side by side of when he was in Philly and when he played in Det and man his cranium blew up. Maybe it was the water in Detroit that made it grow larger? You know Michigan’s water supply has a sterling reputation.
I’m just glad every American city has clean drinkable water so we can pursue our passion space projects
Alvarez and Machado should definitely get a spot on the roster
If they do then the Marlins are in real bad shape. Like make the Orioles look good bad shape.
They’ll win 70 games next year.
It’s like the movie Major League in real life!!
“This guy here is dead”
Mattingly’s on another line with a guy about some whitewalls
Don’t even bother playing the games. Best just deliver that World Championship trophy right to Miami.
I know every team signs guys like this to compete for spots but this really is a sad bunch of guys that Marlins are wasting time on. Alvarez maybe makes a good late inning pinch hitter but has zero defensive options. He can’t even play first halfway decent. Pointless signings completely despite understanding value in signing some guys to minor league contracts. Guaranteed they get zero use out of all these guys combined.
Thank God Dixon Machado is signed. Now every time he is mentioned by brain doesn’t do a back flip because I didn’t see the comma. =[
Big fan of Pedro Alvarez. Perfect team for him.
Dont give him Sporadic PT (2018: 127PA .180BA .283 OBP but he had 8 homers, and (only) entering his age-32 season.
MIA’s the perfect team to give him more PT, hopefully trade
I’ve already thought of at least 5 clever comebacks for the above post and I haven’t even finished reading it yet. Too easy.
Just downvote like everyone else does.
The sad part is he still doesn’t get it. Imagine having to be around him in real life.
she is going to report this
He could turn into a doubles machine if he had the right approach at Marlins Park.
Might be too big a ballpark as he’s not in his “prime” like in Pittsburgh. Miami is clearly not Baltimore.
The problem with Alvarez is that every time I see his name I am reminded about how good he was with the bat when he came up with Pittsburgh and how awful he was at defense on 3rd. He has the same profile of a certain current Yankees 3rd baseman who most fans seem to be in love with right now. I hope the Yankees pull off a trade for a TOR pitcher or bullpen stud using him as the centerpiece. He has a great bat but even if he dramtically improves his range and footwork he will still be a below average 3rd baseman. He will eventually get moved to 1st and his bat will make him very expensive in his 3rd trip through arbitration and he will get non-rendered. I hope they sell high on him and then maybe bring in Seager from Seattle to play 3rd.
Trade to where? Some I can’t field, hit LH pitching and losing it vs RH pitching needy Indy league team?
Please stop this jumping onto every topic and posting all sorts of nonsense will you?
Thanks John. I like Alvarez cuz accepted demotion Os graciously to AAA. These type players I root for
He packs pop against right-handed pitching, but doesn’t really have a position, so poor poor fit in National league rosters— I know his type of player well. That doesnt mean Miami can offer more PT than most, for obvious reasons, and trade him —
Any team that needs DH, power and wouldn’t mind using him platoon at DH w/ occasional 1B fill-in.
He was always demoted to AAA with Orioles and spent as much time there as needed him without hearing so much as a peep from him. 2017, he had 595PA for Os AAA—which I respected. 2018 178PA. Doing his time in minors, hope gets another chance
I’m surprised this is coming from you, John. Especially considering the quality of feedback my post instigated from thecoffin, dewey, stretch (?)
He’s Boras client, as Is Devin Marrero and my thinking is they signed with Miami hoping to get playing time with nobody there it looks like having a position come opening day with this ownership and everyone on the block.
May be a smart move. Alvarez probably should have gotten more chances last year with all the awful bats in baltimore, so why stick around for another miLB deal and Marrero has a plus glove from 3B and SS. He really is a slick fielder, just never could hit since A ball.
Alvarez gets criticized a lot for his fielding, but to be fair he usually fields the ball just fine. It’s his complete inability to get to the ball and an even more complete inability to throw it accurately that are the real problems.
Decent hands, bad everything else.
His range factor is actually very good
Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to wear red, blue. black and gray.
It’s a good thing that the Marlins don’t actually have fans. Because if they did, they’d be disappointed not only with these moves, but their entire existence since 2003.
Good luck Marrero who has a phenomenal glove and in 17 had a couple of key hits after Pedie was lost. He definitely needs to make the best of this chance as with the Marlins he has an opportunity.
marlins sign drew stubbs, hideki matsui, ben broussard, rickie weeks, rickie weeks’s brother, ted lilly, joe saunders, that racist catcher from the orioles, blair walsh, oscar pistorius, kareem hunt, and daisuke matsuzaka to MiLB deals
And Peter O’Brien
This literally made me LOL
Alvarez is a very nice get
I get it sign a lot of players throw the spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks but I also can’t help to think this is a little bit of a PR stunt ” hey look at all the Hispanic and Latino players we have signed, imagine how they can connect with our heritage fans”
Agreed! With every post ppl hate on me more, but sense has a resurgent season left in him. Big fan. Whole point of my other posts: What better team for PT? amirite? 😉
Xabial, regardless of the hate, at least everyone knows that you aren’t a troll. Don’t even pay attention to the down votes. I don’t even check them.