Garret Anderson, Dodgers reach minors deal

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anderson follow-through.JPGAccording to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers agreed Wednesday evening to a minor league contract with veteran outfielder Garret Anderson.

Teams were turned off this winter by Anderson’s less-than-impressive .268/.303/.401 batting line from the 2009 season.  He makes sense for the Dodgers, though, as a pinch-hitter and backup outfielder.  The 37-year-old has always hit well against right-handers and still packs some punch at the plate.  At least the Dodgers did something this offseason that allowed us to write about a topic other than divorce.

For those wondering about his defensive marks: well, they’re not good.  Anderson had a -16.5 UZR/150 last season in 124 games in left field and wasn’t much better during his earlier years with the Angels.  He’ll serve mainly as a pinch-hitter in Dodger blue.

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.