Johnny Damon was DFA’d by the Indians after a mere 64 games last year, and they were 64 profoundly ineffective games at that. But the former Royal, Atheltic, Red Sox, Yankee, Tiger, Ray and Indian still thinks he has something in the tank:
“I liked being home last season with my kids. But I’m in shape and if I could play, I would,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. I still think I have something left if I am used the right way.”
Lots of teams are scrambling for outfielders right now, but I don’t think anyone is scrambling quite so desperately.
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.