Brewers News

Brewers: Junior Guerra signs with D-Backs on one-year deal

Matthew Dewoskin
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 30: Junior Guerra #41 of the Milwaukee Brewers throws a pitch during the sixth inning of a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park on March 30, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 30: Junior Guerra #41 of the Milwaukee Brewers throws a pitch during the sixth inning of a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park on March 30, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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The list of former Milwaukee Brewers go a little bit longer on Sunday. Right-handed pitcher Junior Guerra signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a one-year deal with an option.

There was always a chance that Junior Guerra wouldn’t return when the Milwaukee Brewers non-tendered him last month. He’s guaranteed to pitch elsewhere next year after signing a one-year deal with an option year with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

How much did Guerra sign for?

Guerra’s deal is said to pay him $2.55 million in 2020, and includes a club option with a $100K buyout that’s valued at $2.65 million for 2021.

How much was Guerra expected to earn in arbitration?

Guerra was expected to earn about $3.5 million in his first year of arbitration if the estimates were accurate. The contract he signed with the D-Backs essentially buys out his first two years of arbitration. If the option is picked up, he’ll still have one more year of arbitration eligibility after the 2021 season.

How did he pitch for the Brewers last year?

Guerra made 72 appearances in relief for the Brewers in 2019, and managed a 3.55 ERA. In 83 2/3 innings, Guerra struck out 77, walked 36, and was tagged for 11 homers. He also saw a bump in velocity as his fastball averaged 94.7 MPH.

Is this a miss for the Brewers?

This is only a miss for the Milwaukee Brewers if they had a chance to sign Guerra to a similar deal and chose not to. A two-year deal worth just over $5 million for a veteran reliever who can run the ball up there in the 95 MPH range, has a ground ball rate over 40%, and can work multiple innings if necessary is a very good deal. However, it’s unknown if the Brewers were in on Guerra up until the end.

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The Milwaukee Brewers roster purge has left the current active roster a complete mess. Bringing back Guerra on a reasonable deal would have helped solidify the bullpen and would not have busted the team’s 2020 budget. It’s odd that the Brewers didn’t try to keep him around for what he ended up signing for. This could very well be a case of a guy wanting a change of scenery or getting a chance to pitch closer to home, and having those concerns influence his decision.

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