The Rangers have announced that they’ve claimed right-handed reliever R.J. Alvarez off waivers from the Cubs. They’ve optioned him to the Class A+ High Desert Mavericks. To clear space on their 40-man roster, they’ve moved righty Lucas Harrell (groin strain) from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. The Cubs designated Alvarez for assignment earlier this week.
The 25-year-old Alvarez has spent the entire season in the minors, posting a 7.00 ERA, but with 11.7 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9, in 27 innings split between three levels in the Cubs and Athletics organizations. He spent the early part of the season recovering from arthroscopic elbow surgery.
Alvarez has also struggled in parts of two seasons in the Majors, posting a 7.39 ERA, 10.3 K/9 and 5.8 BB/9 in 28 total innings. It’s easy to see why he keeps generating interest after previously going from the Angels to the Padres in the Huston Street deal and from the Padres to the Athletics in the Derek Norris trade, however. Alvarez possesses mid-90s velocity, and he has an outstanding 12.6 K/9 in five career minor league seasons. He also has minimal service time, so the Rangers can keep him in their organization for the next several years if they choose.