Cubs claim Julio Borbon off waivers from Rangers

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Texas couldn’t find a trade it liked for Julio Borbon after designating him for assignment last week, so now the Rangers have lost him on waivers for nothing.

Borbon just posted on Twitter that he was claimed by the Cubs, who’ll give him a look as a backup outfielder.

Borbon’s stock has dropped in the past couple seasons, but he’s still a speedy 27-year-old center fielder with a .283 batting average in the majors and a .304 batting average at Triple-A. He doesn’t offer much power or plate discipline, but as far as reserve outfielders go Borbon is a solid one.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.