Rodriguez, speaking publicly Thursday for the first time this spring,
said he reached out to Damon this offseason to offer advice on free
“Johnny and I are very good friends, and we’ve always had a lot of
dialogue, both in the offseason and the season,” Rodriguez said. “I was
just trying to share some of my experiences with him.”
Too bad Damon didn’t listen to him. If he had, he would have put Scott Boras in the time-out chair, negotiated his own deal with the Yankees and wouldn’t have to pretend to be excited about being in Detroit right now.
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.