Former Marlins, Orioles, Royals, and Rangers reliever Terry Mathews passed away

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Terry Mathews, a right-handed reliever who spent eight seasons in the majors for the Marlins, Orioles, Royals, and Rangers, has passed away at age 47.

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that Mathews, who last pitched in 1999, suffered a heart attack at his home in Louisiana.

Mathews, who was originally the Rangers’ fifth-round pick in 1987, made 324 appearances and logged 422 innings with a 4.25 ERA.

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.