A’s want pitching coach Curt Young back from Red Sox

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Right around this time last fall Curt Young resigned as A’s pitching coach to take the same job with the Red Sox, but a year later Young may be returning to Oakland.

Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Young “is expected to be reeled back to the Bay Area by the end of the month” because he’s friends with Oakland manager Bob Melvin and “represents the A’s top target at the moment.”

For now Young has a year remaining on his Red Sox contract, but the starting rotation’s September collapse followed by Terry Francona’s departure has led to some speculation that Young could be the next member of the coaching staff to go.

Young was the A’s pitching coach for seven seasons before joining the Red Sox and his replacement in Oakland, Ron Romanick, was fired shortly after the season ended.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.