Billy Beane thinks Sandy Alderson would be perfect for Mets

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All things Billy Beane have lost quite a bit of gravitas over the past few years, but the A’s general manager still makes headlines when he weighs in on various topics and said yesterday that he thinks Sandy Alderson would be the perfect fit as the Mets’ next GM.

There’s no question he would change the image there. Right away, there would be direction and vision. That seems to be what people are calling out for. I have zero doubt that it would work, no reservations. His background suggests that he would thrive with something like this situation. It would be an incredible fit. He’s got a Hall of Fame resume. And he’s going to bring the best and brightest to work with him. And they want to work for him. There was never a time when I worked for him that I was restless, because there was never a day I didn’t learn something from him.

Beane was Alderson’s assistant in the 1990s and then succeeded him as A’s general manager. By most accounts Alderson is the clear front-runner for the Mets’ job and some reports have even suggested that interviewing non-Alderson candidates is little more than a formality before New York hires him.

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.