The Cubs optioned Alvarez to Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday, Carrie Muskat of reports.

Alvarez signed a major-league deal with the Cubs in early December and struggled through 6.1 innings during spring training, carrying a 8.53 ERA and 1.89 WHIP while striking out nine. The 29-year-old southpaw could make his way back to the majors for the Cubs this season, but is likely to begin in a low-leverage role once recalled from Triple-A.

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