Ross Ohlendorf was arbitration eligible for the second time and would have earned around $2 million even after a miserable season, so the Pirates decided to release the right-hander.
Ohlendorf was much better than his 1-11 record in 2010, posting a 4.07 ERA in 108 innings, but his ERA ballooned to 8.15 ERA in 39 innings this year and he missed most of the season with shoulder and back injuries.
As a 29-year-old pitcher with a 4.77 career ERA in 393 innings Ohlendorf should be able to land a major-league deal elsewhere, assuming he’s healthy.
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.