Reader Comment of the Day: Theo Epstein is a spendthrift

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Reader Mo Green — who, rumor has it, made his bones when you were going out with cheerleaders — makes a good, and often overlooked point in the wake of the Dice-K story:

It may be time to re-examine Theo’s free spending ways. 5 years, 55
mil for J.D. Drew, 4 years 36 million for Lugo, 50 mil just for the
privilege of talking to DiceK, another 50 mil over 6 years to keep him.
There’s almost 200 mil circling the drain instead of the bases.

No the Red Sox don’t spend as much as the Yankees do, but they do spend
a lot. And when it comes to financial advantages, it’s not always about
how big your payroll is. Being able to absorb bad contracts without
taking a competitive hit is critical too, and the Sox have certainly
been able to do that. We so often hear people call Theo a genius while
saying that Brian Cashman simply knows how to write checks. I think
it’s far safer to say that each of them are pretty good at the others’
alleged forte.

(oh, and nice CTB reference there, Mo!)

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.