Justice: The Astros’ new owners are probably going to clean house

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Ed Wade, call your real estate agent.

That’s the message Richard Justice delivers in his post today about how the Astros organization is likely to change once Jim Crane and his just announced right-hand man George Postolos take over following the imminent sale by Drayton McLane.  The idea: Postolos — who happens to be the former President and CEO of the Houston Rockets — has a track record of favoring bright young minds and data-driven analysis, the sort of which does not currently reign in the Astros’ front office. The upshot: on both the business and the baseball side, major changes are likely to happen in Houston.

Justice believes that Brad Mills and the on-field staff is safe, however, which makes total sense.  Last year they squeezed a lot out of a little. This year they aren’t, but it’s not their fault.

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.