Pirates sign Juan Cruz to minor league deal

The Pirates announced today that veteran reliever Juan Cruz has signed a minor league deal that includes an invitation to spring training.

Cruz, 33, pitched for the Rays last season and posted a 3.88 ERA in 48 2/3 innings. Throughout his 11 season career, he has a 9.1 K/9 ratio and has served as a pretty good setup man.

Many people say he could end up being this year’s version of Jose Veras. He will have to impress during spring training as the Bucs’ bullpen looks to be a strength going into this season, but at the worst will be serviceable bullpen depth if he is called upon.