The Angels selected the contract of 36-year-old Junior Guerra today, the team announced. By adding him to their 40-man roster, their roster is now full. This likely means that Guerra will make the opening day roster.
Manager Joe Maddon has a reputation for his outside-the-box thinking, but he can be fairly traditional in the way he leans on veteran contributors out of the bullpen. He knows Guerra well, having both made the NL Central home from 2016 to 2019. Guerra spent those seasons with the Brewers, for whom he moved back and forth from the rotation to the pen before finally becoming a full-time pen arm in 2019. He made 25 appearances covering 23 2/3 innings for the Diamondbacks last year with a 3.04 ERA/4.12 FIP and better-than-usual 50.8 percent groundball rate. Some of the underlying metrics don’t love Guerra’s work, as he finished with a below-average 20.4 percent strikeout rate and well-below-average 14.6 percent walk rate.
The Angels also optioned outfielder Brandon Marsh to the minors. The 23-year-old is a promising outfield prospect, but he has yet to play above Double-A, and he has dealt with a minor arm injury this spring. Furthermore, the Angels don’t have a ton of room to spare in the outfield with veterans Mike Trout, Justin Upton, and Dexter Fowler populating the roster and top prospect Jo Adell knocking on the door. Juan Lagares also remains in contention for a roster spot, while Jared Walsh or David Fletcher could see time in the outfield if need be.