By Matt Snyder
The Pirates have signed free agent relief pitcher Juan Cruz to a minor-league contract with a spring training invite, the club announced Wednesday afternoon.
FREE AGENT TRACKER
Cruz, 33, will now join his seventh team in 12 big-league seasons, should he make the team. He spent last season with the Rays, where he had the good fortune of going 5-0 -- which, as a reliever doesn't really mean much -- with a 3.88 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 46 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings. He's been inconsistent season to season in his career, as Cruz was very effective in 2004 and 2008 while being awful in 2005 and 2009, with several other seasons falling in between.
Should Cruz make the roster, he won't be ticketed for a late-inning role. The Pirates have Joel Hanrahan locked in as the closer with Evan Meek and Jason Grilli setting up.
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