In an effort to add some rotation depth the Rockies “are negotiation with” right-hander Rodrigo Lopez, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com.
Lopez pitched for the Rockies in 2007, going 5-4 with a 4.42 ERA in 14 starts before blowing out his elbow. He missed all of 2008 and spent most of the 2009 at Triple-A, returning to the majors with Arizona last season while going 7-16 with a 5.00 ERA in 200 innings.
Lopez is 35 years old and would likely enter spring training no higher than sixth on the Rockies’ rotation depth chart after leading the league in losses (16), homers allowed (37), and earned runs allowed (111) in 2010. He’s presumably available for a minor-league deal.
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.