Dodgers sign Mike MacDougal to minor league deal

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The Dodgers signed former All-Star reliever Mike MacDougal to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

OK, so I really wanted to use that former All-Star line. Fact is, MacDougal hasn’t been an effective pitcher for a few years now.

MacDougal, who turns 34 in March, posted a 7.23 ERA and 14/12 K/BB ratio over 18 2/3 innings with the Cardinals last season.

He still cranks it up in the mid-90s with regularity, so he can be very difficult to hit at times. The only problem is that he often doesn’t have any idea where the ball is going. He has averaged 6.5 BB/9 since the start of the 2007 season, the highest among all major league pitchers with at least 130 innings pitched during that timespan.

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.