The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed Jorge Julio, according to César Augusto Márquez at the Venezuelan newspaper Lider en Deportes (via MLBTR). Rob Biertempfel adds that the deal does not include an invite to Spring Training.
Julio last pitched in the majors in 2009 with the Milwaukee Brewers, putting up a 7.79 ERA in 17.1 innings, along with a 13:15 K/BB ratio. Milwaukee released him, and after a brief stop in the Rays’ minor league system, Julio signed with the Pirates, where he pitched 5.1 innings in Indianapolis.
Julio has a career 4.43 ERA in 467 major league innings, along with an 8.6 K/9 and a 4.5 BB/9 ratio. His last strong stretch in the majors was in 2007 with the Colorado Rockies. After starting off slow with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Julio was traded to the Rockies for Byung-Hyun Kim. With the Rockies, Julio posted a 3.93 ERA in 52.2 innings, with an 8.5 K/9 and a 3.4 BB/9 ratio.
Julio is a hard thrower who has been a back of the bullpen reliever at points in his career. He is a very low risk signing for the Pirates, and while he won’t compete for a spot in the majors out of Spring Training, he could have a shot of making the majors in 2011 if he turns his career around in AAA.