Alvarez will continue to participate in on-field workouts as much as the injury permits, the team said, allowing him to continue his transition to first base. He had been a third baseman for his entire professional career but struggled to make routine throws last season, forcing the team to bench him.
The Pirates began working Alvarez out at first base and he played five games there before a foot injury ended his season.
Pittsburgh designated first basemen Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez for assignment this winter, clearing the way for Alvarez to be the Pirates' primary first baseman. Outfielder/first baseman Corey Hart is also on the roster.
Alvarez batted .231 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 398 at-bats last season. He had the best strikeout and walk rates of his career.
The Pirates finished 88-74 in 2014, but lost in the one-game Wild Card playoff to the eventual world champion San Francisco Giants.
- Jack Jorgensen