Cubs give Nady one-year contract to platoon with Fukudome … for now

Leave a comment

Xavier Nady’s one-year deal with the Cubs is worth $3 million plus another $2 million in incentives and sets him up to platoon with Kosuke Fukudome in right field, which is a good fit for a right-handed hitter coming off Tommy John surgery in that he’ll face mostly left-handed pitching and won’t be asked to play every day.
At least not initially.
Nady is a career .308/.383/.471 hitter against lefties, which is good for an .854 OPS that easily tops his .769 mark against righties. Fukudome is the exact opposite in that he’s a left-handed hitter who’s batted .262/.372/.417 versus right-handers compared to just .242/.343/.324 versus southpaws.
Assuming that Nady and his surgically repaired elbow pass the pre-signing physical exam they’ll make for a prototypical and very productive platoon, although given Fukudome’s propensity to fall into prolonged slumps there’s a good chance Nady will also claim plenty of his starts against righties at some point.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
3 Comments

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.