Good observation at NoMaas: since Brian Cashman was given more or less complete control in 2005, the Yankees have gotten younger and younger, with the average age of the team’s pitchers clicking down nearly five years since then and the average age of the hitters going down nearly two years.
So sure, the Yankees’ payroll is staggering and they have a rep for bringing in the free agents. But they’re doing it wisely, peppering in some youngins here and there, and getting better in the process.
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.