Jay Gibbons announced his retirement

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After hitting just .204 in 34 games for the Brewers’ Triple-A team this season former big leaguer Jay Gibbons has announced his retirement at age 35.

Gibbons was a fixture in the middle of Baltimore’s lineup from 2001-2007, but the Orioles released him with more than $10 million remaining on his contract when he was named in the “Mitchell Report” and suspended for the beginning of 2008. Gibbons resurfaced with the Dodgers in 2010 and 2011, but saw limited action as a role player.

Gibbons had 25-homer power, but it came along with low batting averages and poor plate discipline. Overall he hit .260 with a .315 on-base percentage and .453 slugging percentage in 840 games, homering 127 times.

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.