Mets cut ties with Japanese righty Ryota Igarashi

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From beat writer Adam Rubin of ESPN New York comes word that the Mets have released right-hander Ryota Igarashi, a native of Chiba, Japan.

Igarashi proved to be a bust soon after signing a two-year, $3 million major league contract with the Mets in the winter of 2009. Over 69 total big league innings — all in relief — he posted a disappointing 5.74 ERA, 1.71 WHIP and 69/46 K/BB ratio.

Igarashi will be free to sign with any organization after the World Series. He could also opt to head back home if the offers aren’t to his liking.

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.