It would be easy to forget about R.J. Alvarez’s tenure with the Oakland A’s. He was acquired along with Jesse Hahn as part of the deal that sent Derek Norris to the Padres. The hope was that Alvarez could be a part of the A’s bullpen moving forward, someone that would be able to pitch in those higher leverage innings.
Instead, Alvarez flamed out during his time in Oakland. He made 21 forgettable appearances, posting a 9.90 ERA and a 2.000 WHiP in his 20 innings. While he struck out 23 batters, Alvarez also issued 13 walks, uncorked five wild pitches, and allowed seven homers. He was eventually placed on waivers in June 2016, beginning his time as a baseball nomad.
R.J. Alvarez getting a chance with the Mets
Alvarez spent three months in the Cubs organization before being placed on waivers once again. This time, he was picked up by the Rangers, who kept him in the organization through 2018. From there, he has spent time in the Marlins, Red Sox, and Brewers organizations, failing to return to the majors since.
But he is getting another chance as he has signed with the New York Mets. The Mets do have openings in their bullpen at this juncture of the offseason, although they are expected to address those issues once the lockout ends. Alvarez, however, could get a look if he performs well enough in spring training and at Triple-A.
Alvarez had a typical season in Triple-A last season. He posted a 4.08 ERA and a 1.472 WHiP in his 35.1 innings, striking out 44 batters with 18 walks. That performance matched his career – he generated plenty of strikeouts, but continued to struggle with his command.
Nonetheless, his ability to get swings and misses continues to tantalize. Teams will take a chance on that raw stuff, hoping that they can catch lightning in a bottle and find a way for him to harness his arsenal. The Mets are the latest team to take that chance.
Former Oakland A’s pitcher R.J. Alvarez has a new home as his baseball odyssey continues. The Mets are the latest team to give him a look.