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Chicago Cubs claim R.J. Alvarez off waivers from Oakland A’s

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The Athletics reliever was passed on by all but one team as the team prepared to take him off the disabled list.

Oakland Athletics Photo Day Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics have lost right-handed reliever R.J. Alvarez off waivers to the Chicago Cubs, the club announced Sunday. Alvarez was on the 60-day disabled list following arthroscopic elbow surgery, and there was no place on the 40-man roster for him as he approached his activation. The Cubs were the only team to claim Alvarez, as they were last in outright waiver priority by virtue of their MLB best 42-18 record.

The A’s acquired R.J. Alvarez with Jesse Hahn in the deal that sent Derek Norris, minor leaguer Seth Streich, and cash to the San Diego Padres. Alvarez had issues with command with Oakland, walking 13 batters in 20 major league innings for the much-maligned 2015 A’s bullpen, ending up with a 9.90 ERA that year.

Alvarez lost what he felt was excess weight coming into the year, but the elbow issue apparently still affected his command. He had made three minor league rehab appearances, striking out five without walking anyone in 3 2/3 innings.

The A’s now have six players on the 60-day disabled list, but Eric Sogard is the only one expected to return this year. Josh Reddick, Henderson Alvarez, Rich Hill, and Liam Hendriks are on the 15-day disabled list and already count against the 40-player limit.