The Phillies announced that they’ve signed right-hander Juan Gutierrez to a minor league contract. The 31-year-old Gutierrez, a client of Godoy Sports, had recently opted out of his minor league deal with the Giants. He’ll head to Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the time being.
Gutierrez joins Kevin Correia as the second player to sign with the Phillies today after opting out of his minor league deal. (Correia, however, received a big league deal.) He’ll provide the Phillies with an experienced depth piece that should have a chance to join a somewhat overworked bullpen that has relied very heavily on Jonathan Papelbon, Ken Giles, Jeanmar Gomez, Justin De Fratus and the struggling Luis Garcia. (Lefty Jake Diekman, one of their most oft-used relievers, was just optioned to Triple-A due to his own struggles.)
Last year, Gutierrez tallied a 3.96 ERA with 6.2 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 36.8 percent ground-ball rate in 63 2/3 innings. His fastball averaged a healthy 93.5 mph, and his career mark in that regard is 94 mph. Gutierrez struggled a bit early on in the Triple-A season this year and wound up posting a 4.39 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 26 2/3 innings with Sacramento. He made a rare start on his final day with the Giants organization and fired three scoreless innings, yielding one walk and one hit with a pair of strikeouts before electing free agency. Gutierrez has a 4.49 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 286 1/3 big league innings.