Farewell, Alfonso Rivas - Released by the Cubs

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Farewell, Alfonso Rivas – Released by the Cubs

Chicago Cubs

Per the team transaction wire, the Chicago Cubs have released first baseman Alfonso Rivas.

Rivas, 26, was designated for assignment last month to open up a spot on the 40-man roster for the Anthony Kay waiver claim, but the move was also probably in anticipation of the Eric Hosmer signing. At the resolution of his DFA, rather than being traded or waived, Rivas has been released.

At the time, here’s what I wrote of the decision to DFA Rivas:

As for Alfonso Rivas, I think most were expecting this move eventually. The glove at first base is outstanding and there are flashes of enough discipline and line drive ability that you could maybe envision a platoon-level first baseman. But the lack of power is a problem at the position, and the extreeeme struggles against any kind of breaking pitch was an even bigger problem.

Rivas is just 26, and like I said, there are parts of his game to like in a depth role. The Cubs will have seven days to trade, release, or waive Rivas. My bet is they waive him, hope he clears waivers, and then they outright him to Iowa. That way, they get to keep him for the 2023 season on a minor league deal, essentially.

To that end, I’m surprised the Cubs didn’t go the waiver/outright route, but maybe their concerns about Rivas’s inability to hit breaking pitches was more pronounced than I realized. We know the lack of first-base-ish power was an issue, but you could take that in a reserve role if Rivas had a great glove, handled the outfield corners in a pinch, and could hit a lot of line drives and take a lot of walks. If strikeouts were also going to an issue for him, however, then it just wasn’t going to work in a bench role with the Cubs.

Over 101 games this year with the Cubs, Rivas hit .235/.322/.307/83 wRC+ with a 30.3% K rate.

Assuming Matt Mervis winds up spending a healthy chunk of the year in Chicago, that first base job at Iowa could now be Bryce Ball’s to win. I’m not sure if he’s got a big league future or not, but I don’t really have a huge issue with the Cubs wanting to see how he handles Triple-A.

As for Alfonso Rivas, he will assuredly find a minor league deal out there somewhere, and will get a crack at re-establishing himself as some team’s Triple-A first baseman. He’s still relatively young, and you never know how a guy might adjust in a new organization. All the best to him.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.