And now, he’ll be a Chicago Cub next season:
LHP Dario Alvarez has signed a major league deal with the #Cubs.— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) November 29, 2017
There’s been no official announcement from the Cubs via press release and no mention in local media other than a brief note in this Mark Gonzales article in the Tribune that was mostly about non-tenders.
So, about Alvarez: He had a pretty good walk rate for the Braves and Rangers combined in 2016, just seven walks in 26⅔ innings (2.4 per nine). That all fell apart in 2017, when his walk rate jumped to 7.7 per nine innings (14 walks in 16⅓ innings).
Alvarez has a good arm and according to Fangraphs, had an average fastball velocity over 94 miles per hour in 2016.
I remember, and you might as well, an excellent appearance he made against the Cubs July 7, 2016 at Wrigley Field. He entered the game in the 10th inning and struck out the side: Matt Szczur, Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist. He then allowed a pair of singles in the 11th and departed.
Alvarez will turn 29 in January, and as a lefthander he’s got a reasonable chance to make the bullpen next season. The Cubs must figure that Jim Hickey and Jim Benedict can fix Alvarez’ control issues. According to AZ Phil at The Cub Reporter, Alvarez does have one option year remaining, so he could be sent to Iowa if needed.
The signing leaves 37 players on the Cubs’ 40-man roster, with more changes possible tomorrow at the non-tender deadline, which is 7 p.m. CT.