Cubs sign ex-Rangers lefty Dario Alvarez for bullpen depth

SHARE Cubs sign ex-Rangers lefty Dario Alvarez for bullpen depth
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Alvarez

The Cubs on Friday announced the signing of former Rangers left-hander Dario Alvarez to a one-year, big-league contract to help provide depth for a bullpen in significant transition.

Alvarez, 28, split time between the majors and Class AAA Round Rock before being designated for assignment by Texas in September.

He had a 2.76 ERA in 20 big-league relief appearances in 2017, with 17 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings (2.33 with 36 strikeouts in 27 innings for Round Rock).

He has spent all or parts of four major-league seasons with the Mets, Braves and Rangers (5.06 ERA in 56 career appearances).

The move helps offset the loss to free agency of lefty Brian Duensing, a low-cost signing last year who became one of the Cubs’ most reliable relievers and is not expected to return. The Cubs spent much of last season with few left-handed relief options, and July acquisition Justin Wilson did little to alleviate the issue with his poor performance the final two months.

The announcement also comes on the day the Cubs must trade arbitration-eligible Hector Rondon or decide whether to tender him a contract for 2018 that’s expected to exceed $6 million through the arbitration process. The former closer has been made available in trade talks since the season ended.

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