The Phillies have signed veteran righty Juan Cruz to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, according to Jon Heyman.
Juan Cruz sign w/ phillies. Minor-league deal w/ big-league invite.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 16, 2013
Cruz put together a fine season with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012. In 43 games and 35 2/3 innings pitched, he had a 2.78 ERA and 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Of course, it's not all unicorns and rainbows. His walk rate is 4.8 per nine innings (which matches his career walk rate). He was cut by the Pirates in August.
This is the type of late offseason move that Ruben Amaro Jr. loves to make. He likes to take fliers on cheap veterans who could potentially succeed but won't cost much if they fail. He did it last year with Dontrelle Willis. (Who failed.) I suspect Amaro isn't done raiding the bargain bin. However, I would personally like him to move from the pitchers section to the hitters section, since I don't really think the Phillies need yet another reliever. If they want to field a team made of nothing but relievers, they're well on their way, but I don't think that Major League Baseball is going to make that rule change anytime soon.