Some team needs to fire their GM

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From Ken Rosenthal’s latest column speculating on the Yankees’ plans this winter:

One rival GM actually believes the Yankees’ rather public obsession with Lee is a ruse, that they secretly want Tampa Bay Rays free-agent outfielder Carl Crawford, 29, instead.

There is zero evidence, mind you, to support such a contention. The Yankees love left fielder Brett Gardner and would be forced to scramble for starting pitching if they lost Lee to another club and Andy Pettitte to retirement.

I’d kill to know who this “rival GM” is that has so seriously misapprehended the Yankees offseason intentions.  I mean, I’m not saying that there won’t be some random rumor matching the Yankees up with Crawford between now and next spring, but to think that the Yankees interest in Cliff Lee is a “ruse” is kinda crazy, no?

And maybe they lose him to someone else. But if the Yankees aren’t seriously interested in Cliff Lee, I’ll eat my hat.

 

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.