Mariners and Miguel Olivo agree to two-year, $7 million deal

4 Comments

Seattle has signed catcher Miguel Olivo to a two-year, $7 million contract with a team option for 2013, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.

Last month the Blue Jays acquired Olivo from the Rockies for a player to be named later, declined his $2.6 million option for 2011, and then offered him arbitration, which means Toronto will receive a compensatory draft pick for losing a Type B free agent who never actually played for them.

Pretty nifty move from general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who saw the value in holding Olivo’s rights even when the Rockies didn’t. Seattle handing $7 million to Olivo is also intriguing, because Jack Zduriencik is viewed as a stat-friendly general manager who places a premium on getting on base and Olivo has consistently posted one of the worst on-base percentages in baseball.

Olivo got on base at a .315 clip this year, which is both significantly below the MLB average and by far the best mark of his career. In fact, it’s only time his OBP has cracked .300. He brings plenty of power to the table, smacking 14 homers in 427 at-bats this year and 20 homers per 550 at-bats for his career, and Olivo also does a good job controlling the running game, but it’s still an odd fit.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
3 Comments

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.