Jake Locker won’t play baseball even if there’s an NFL lockout

1 Comment

Last week general manager Tony Reagins expressed some optimism that former University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker may decide to play baseball if there’s an NFL lockout, as the Angels own his MLB rights through 2015 after giving him a $250,000 bonus as a 10th-round pick in 2009.

Locker squashed that idea today while appearing on “ProFootballTalk Live” with our blog-mate Mike Florio, saying: “I’m concentrating on become the best football player I can right now and that’s where my focus is and that where my efforts are going to be and that’s where they’ll continue to be.”

You can see video of his appearance over at PFT.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
4 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.