The Angels are signing right-hander Junior Guerra to a minor-league contract, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register (Twitter link). Presumably, the deal will include an invitation to MLB spring training.
After four seasons as a highly-utilized swingman in Milwaukee, Guerra signed with the Diamondbacks before the 2020 season. He pitched 23.2 innings of 3.04 ERA ball with Arizona, but his underlying numbers suggest he was rather fortunate to manage that level of run prevention. Guerra struck out just 20.4% of opposing hitters, significantly below the league average mark (24.1%) for relievers. He also walked a career-high 14.6% of batters faced, the thirteenth-highest rate among the 323 pitchers with at least 20 innings pitched last year. Wary of those mediocre peripherals, Arizona released Guerra rather than pay him an arbitration salary projected in the $2.8MM range.
There’s no harm for the Angels in bringing Guerra in on a non-roster deal to bolster the pitching depth. To his credit, the 36-year-old did induce plenty of ground balls last season. He also has ample experience working multiple innings out of the pen (and starting, although he’s exclusively been a reliever the past two seasons). Over his big league career, Guerra owns a 3.77 ERA/4.55 SIERA.