The Pirates have signed right-handed reliever Jorge Julio to a Minor League contract with no invite to big league spring camp. The signing, first reported by Venezuelan publication Lider en Deportes, gives the 31-year-old Julio a chance to return to affiliated professional baseball. He hasn't pitched in the bigs since the Brewers released him in 2009. Julio's career has also included stints with the Orioles, Mets, D-backs, Marlins, Rockies and Indians. But in 2010, looking to repair his wayward career, he found himself pitching in the independent Atlantic League and pitching well. He posted a 1.15 ERA and struck out 57 in 55 innings for the Bridgeport Bluefish and did not yield a home run.
This offseason, Julio has continued to pitch in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he had a 1.95 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 27 innings. Julio has posted a 4.43 ERA over 453 Major League appearances across nine seasons.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, CastroTurf, and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.