Garret Anderson retires after 17 seasons and 2,529 hits

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Unable to find a job this spring after hitting just .181 in 80 games for the Dodgers last season, Garret Anderson has decided to call it a career after 17 years in the majors.

Fifteen of those years were spent with the Angels and Anderson is the franchise’s all-time leader in games (2,013), plate appearances (8,480), runs (1,024), RBIs (1,292), hits (2,368), and total bases (3,743).

At his peak he was a .300 hitter with 25-homer power whose spot in the middle of the lineup and low walk rate helped him pile up big RBI totals, knocking in more than 115 runs each year from 2000-2003.

His overall production wasn’t quite as impressive as the batting average and RBIs suggested, as Anderson failed to crack an .800 OPS in 10 seasons and finishes with a career mark of .785 that ranks just 106th among the 158 players to log at least 5,000 plate appearances since his debut in 1994.

He was a very solid hitter and underrated defensive left fielder who rarely missed games and was a big part of some very good Angels teams, including the World Series winners in 2002. That season he batted .306 with a .332 on-base percentage and .539 slugging percentage, homering 29 times and leading the league with 56 doubles while knocking in a career-high 123 runs to finish fourth in the MVP balloting.

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.