Reliever J.C. Gutierrez has been claimed off waivers by the Angels from the Kansas City Royals ten days after his thirtieth birthday. He was assigned to the 40-Man roster and will be in uniform for either the Angels or the Salt Lake Bees tomorrow evening.
Juan Carlos Guttiérrez was born July 14, 1983 in Venezuela and made his major league debut with the Houston Astros in 2007 after signing with them as a free agent at age 17 in 2000. He was one of three players traded by the Astros to the Diamondbacks for Jose Valverde later that year. He pitched at the big league level in Arizona for three seasons ('09-'11) and accrued a negative Wins Above Replacement there.
He was signed as a free agent by Kansas City and spent all of 2012 in the minors. Angels GM Jerry Dipoto was the interrim General Manager of the D-Backs when Gutierrez pitched for them, so this a known quantity. JC was having the best season, statistically, of his career for KC - his ERA+ of 123 in 29 Innings Pitched included the lowest WHIP (1.29) of his career.
Speculation is that Garrett Richards will be sent to the minor leagues to stretch out as a starting pitcher and that Gutierrez will replace him in the pen during that time with the only question being where Joe Blanton goes once Richards is ready to replace him in the rotation.