ESPN Boston.com reports that Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar will interview with the Astros some time this week. The fact that the Astros last manager — Brad Mills — used to be a Red Sox bench coach to is a coincidence, I’d imagine.
Bogar played for the Astros from 1997-2000. He played in his only postseason series in 1999 with Houston, going 3 for 4 in two games against Atlanta. He has managed in the minor leagues, where he was named manager of the year for three straight years — 2004, 2005 and 2006 — across three different leagues.
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.