Jack Cust accepts minor league assignment

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Jack Cust has officially accepted a minor league assignment with Triple-A Sacramento, reports Jeff Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse. Cust was pretty upset — and rightfully so — when he was designated for assignment just one week ago, calling the decision “a joke,” but he would have been a dope to pass up $2.65 million guaranteed.

Cust, 31, batted just .240/.356/.417 with 25 homers, 70 RBI and a .773 OPS last season, easily his worst season in Oakland, but he shouldn’t stay too far away from a phone with Eric Chavez currently drawing the majority of at-bats as the designated hitter. Chavez, who hasn’t resembled anything close to an imposing hitter since 2005, is 3-for-18 (.167) to begin the year. Staying off the field may be the best way to preserve his health, but as we all know by now, he could suffer an injury at any time.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.