Angels News: Halos sign veteran Junior Guerra to minor-league contract
By Alfonso Cerna
The Angels and right-handed reliever Junior Guerra have agreed to a one-year minor league contract, as reported by Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register.
Guerra, 36, is best known for his versatility as a reliever and starter for the Brewers from 2016-2019. Last season as a member of the Diamondbacks, Guerra posted a 3.04 ERA and 1.352 WHIP in 23 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.
Junior Guerra is a low-risk, high-reward type of signing for the Angels.
Overall, Guerra holds a career 3.77 ERA and 1.290 WHIP between 172 games combined as a starter and reliever in his six MLB seasons. On paper, those statistics seem like they warrant a better contract among teams in the league.
The issues for Guerra come from his lack of strikeouts and high-walk rate. Last season, Guerra struck out 20.4 percent of batters faced, which was below the league average of 24.1 percent. Guerra’s 14.6 percentage for walks per hitter faced was a career-high and was the 13th highest among relievers.
If there is a plus-side to Guerra’s game, it’s his ability to minimize hard-contact. That’s the reason he was able to post a low ERA last season, even with a lack of strikeouts and high-walks.
This move is far from the high-end reliever that would solidify the Angels bullpen as one of the best in the league, but it’s hardly a risk. Guerra is signed to a non-guaranteed minor-league deal, so a best-case scenario is an impressive spring training camp that earns him a spot on the roster.
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The more reliable arms a team has in their bullpen, the better. Anything can happen, so having a veteran reliever like Guerra could help significantly during the grind of a 162-game season.