Considering the Angels’ logjam of first basemen, corner outfielders, and designated hitters Jorge Cantu signing a minor-league deal with them in January was a pretty questionable decision.
Cantu hit .291 with a .788 OPS in 21 games at Triple-A, but with very little chance of getting a call-up barring multiple injuries he decided to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract today and become a free agent again.
Cantu is still just 30 years old, but his lack of plate discipline and defensive chops have always limited him and he’s hit just .242 with a .654 OPS in 184 big-league games dating back to 2010.
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.