Brian Cashman is dropping some moderate-sized bombs this morning

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espnW’s Amanda Rykoff is at WFAN’s Breakfast with a Champion event in New York this morning, and Yankees GM Brian Cashman is talking to the media.  She’s live-tweeting it, and it you can check out her feed now to see what all the columnists will be talking about tomorrow. Among the comments from Cashman that might have some legs:

  • WFAN’s Mike Francesca arrived late, turned to Cashman and said “How are you?” Cashman said “I’d be better if I could get a starter.”
  • He thinks that Derek Jeter will be moved off shortstop during his current contract period, probably to the outfield.
  • Cashman said that that the New York media coverage can wear a guy out.  That sound you hear is Bill Madden re-jiggering his “Cashman wants to be a small market GM” column with some extra “I told you so’s.”
  • Cashman was asked, once again, about Joba Chamberlain starting. He said  that Chamberlain hasn’t been the same pitcher since his injury that occurred in Texas back in 2008.  This has been suspected, but I believe it’s the first time that the Yankees have publicly acknowledged that Chamberlain’s injury was a big deal.
  • Cashman said that the Red Sox are the better team today, but that the Yankees have a better bullpen. He said that the Yankees are one starter away from being a World Series contender.
  • He called Mariano Rivera “The best Yankee I’ve ever seen.”  With apologies to Derek Jeter, I’d probably agree with that assessment. I’m not talking about value in some statistical sense — he’s still a closer — but in terms of the awe he inspires, I don’t think any Yankee of the current era comes close to Mo.

Fun stuff. It should give the New York press material until pitchers and catchers report.  Thanks for passing it along, Amanda.

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.