Dodgers re-sign Jeff Weaver to minors deal

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The Dodgers have re-signed Jeff Weaver to a minor league contract, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports.

Weaver did a fine job last season in a swingman role for the Dodgers, compiling a 6-4 record, a 3.65 ERA and a 64/33 K/BB ratio in 28 appearances (seven starts).  He will hold the same type of gig in 2010 for Los Angeles, though expecting similar results might be wishful thinking.  Weaver turns 34 this season and is undoubtedly at the tail end of his career.  His fastball averaged just 89.8 MPH last season and he relies heavily on “junk” these days to retire opposing hitters.

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.