It’s official: Angels announce Jerry Dipoto as general manager

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Confirming what was reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com yesterday, the Angels just announced that they have hired Jerry Dipoto as general manager. He’ll receive a five-year contract to replace Tony Reagins, who resigned from his post as GM at the end of September.

Here’s Dipoto, as quoted in a release from the team:

“What a thrill this is,” said Dipoto. “I am excited and honored to be part of one of the premier franchises in baseball. The club’s success in the last 10 years isn’t just notable, it has catapulted the Angels into one of the top organizations in baseball.”

“We want to continue the success here with an increased focus on scouting and player development. We will always have championship expectations,” added Dipoto.

Dipoto, who pitched eight seasons in the big leagues with the Indians, Mets and Rockies, was the Diamondbacks’ vice president of scouting and player development this season under new general manager Kevin Towers. He impressed many around baseball when he served as Arizona’s interim general manager last season, including a bold trade that sent Dan Haren to, you guessed it, the Angels.

UPDATE: Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that Dipoto’s contract is not five years, but three years guaranteed with two option years.

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.