Red Sox designate Mike Cameron for assignment

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Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe is reporting that the Red Sox have designated outfielder Mike Cameron for assignment (UPDATE: those reports of an outright release have been walked back).

It’s been a rough season for Cameron. He’s hitting .149/.212/.266 in 105 plate appearances. This after an injury-shortened and disappointing 2010 season in Boston as well.  He has played in only 33 games this year and has lost playing time to Darnell McDonald and Josh Reddick lately.

Cameron is in the second year of a two-year $15.5 million deal.  If he ends up getting released following the DFA period — which seems likely, because who wants to pay Cameron millions? — he can be had for the veteran minimum.  Assuming he’s healthy, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him picked up given his versatility and the fact that, in 17 major league seasons, I don’t think anything has had anything but good stuff to say about his attitude and character and all of that. He could be a useful fourth outfielder.

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.