Dodgers sign Dana Eveland to split minor league deal

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Dana Eveland posted a 4.34 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 29 starts for the A’s in 2008 as a 24-year-old.  He wasn’t dominant, striking out only 118 batters in 168 innings while walking 77, but he looked like a youngster with a promising future as a No. 4 or No. 5 starter.

That changed in 2009, when he allowed 39 runs in 44 innings for Oakland and finished with a 7.16 ERA and 2.18 WHIP.  He was shipped to the Blue Jays in February of 2010 for a player to be named later, then designated for assignment three months later and picked up by the ever-desperate Pirates.

Eveland finished the year with a 6.79 ERA and 1.91 WHIP over 54.1 total frames.  He was moved off the Bucs’ 40-man roster last week and seemed unlikely to score a quick free agent contract this winter.

It’s good to be young.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Eveland, now 27, inked a split contract with the Dodgers on Monday night.  He’ll be paid a certain amount in the minors and more if he reaches the big leagues.

With his past starting experience, the right-hander will likely be shooting for a spot in the Dodgers’ bullpen as a long reliever.

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.