Tampa Bay Rays fans are pretty clear-eyed about Carl Crawford leaving the team. It’s business. It happens. It makes no sense for the Rays to try and match big offers. They’re happy that he was in town for so long and wish him well on his future endeavors that do not involve playing against the Rays. Nice, really.
And the guys at DRays Bay are even trying to say good-bye to him. They’re taking up a collection to buy a full-page ad in the paper wishing Crawford the best of luck. I kind of like it in a “aint’ it meta for a website to be organizing a print campaign” kind of way. It’s fun.
So if you’re so inclined, go here to help make a donation to the cause, which will take about $2,800 in total. You can see the proposed ad they’re going to run here.
No word if Rangers fans will be doing the same for Jeff Francoeur, but I’ll keep you posted.
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.