Julio inks minor league deal


BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pirates signed right-handed reliever Jorge Julio to a minor league contract that does not include an invite to spring training.

Julio, who will turn 32 in March, has pitched for eight teams over nine seasons in the majors. He owns 99 saves and a 4.43 career ERA and averages 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings.

His best season was 2002, when Julio went 5-6 with a 1.99 ERA and 25 saves with Baltimore. He finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting.

He has not pitched in the majors since 2009, when put up a 7.79 ERA in 15 games with Milwaukee.

Last summer, Julio pitched for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League and racked up 57 strikeouts in 55 innings. He played this winter in Venezuela and had a 1.95 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 27 innings.