Often when a player making a comeback signs a minor-league contract with a team it includes an opt-out clause that allows him to become a free agent again if not added to the MLB roster within a month or so.
Rich Harden’s minor-league deal with the Twins includes an opt-out clause, but Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com reports that the date is July 31. That means the Twins could decide Harden isn’t ready for the big leagues coming out of spring training after missing all of 2012 following shoulder surgery and stash him at Triple-A for more than half the season.
I already wrote a lot about the Harden signing, so I won’t rehash everything here, but the July 31 opt-out clause is even more reason to think the Twins did well taking a no-risk flier on the oft-injured right-hander.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.