Randy Wolf will undergo Tommy John elbow surgery next week, with Dr. Lewis Yocum doing the honors in Los Angeles.
That means the left-hander will miss all of 2013 and at age 36 it could mean the end of his career, but Wolf told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that he plans to make a comeback and pitch in 2014.
Wolf experienced pain in his elbow during a September 22 start and was shut down after making just five appearances for the Orioles. He signed with Baltimore in late August after being released by Milwaukee and just finished a three-year, $30 million contract.
Yocum performed Tommy John surgery on a 28-year-old Wolf in 2005 and his elbow held up for nearly 1,200 innings after that, which is pretty damn good and allowed him to earn more than $75 million during a 14-year career.
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.