Phillies sign veterans Cruz and Cook

(Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Juan Cruz was with his seventh organization since 2002 last year, while Aaron Cook joined just his second organization over the same time span. The two veteran pitchers will join the Phillies in camp, looking for jobs with the big league club.

Since 2001, Juan Cruz has been a member of seven major league teams - The Cubs, Atlanta, Oakland, Arizona, Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh - and has pitched in 447 major league games.

The veteran reliever will join the Phillies in spring training this spring, looking to win a spot in the Phillies bullpen.

Last season, Cruz was with the Pittsburgh Pirates after signing as a free agent. The Pirates designated him for assignment last August, but Cruz refused to report to the minors and was released.

With Pittsburgh, Cruz posted a 2.78 ERA in 43 games, but had walked 4.8 batters per nine innings, which is also his career average. His career ERA is 4.05 over all or part of 12 MLB seasons.

Meanwhile, Aaron Cook pitched the first ten seasons of his major league career with Colorado before signing a minor league deal with Boston last winter.

Cook joined the Red Sox for one game in May and then was back with the Sox in June and made a total of 18 starts with a 5.65 ERA on the season.

Cook's downfall was in walking more hitters (21) than he struck out (20). The concern was that his strikeouts per nine innings fell from a career-high of 4.5 in 2011 to just 1.9 last season with Boston. Prior to being recalled, Cook had a 3-0, 2.41 record with Triple-A Pawtucket, walking 2.9 per nine innings, while striking out 3.9 per nine innings.


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