Yankees “quietly interested” in free agent Michael Bourn?

33 Comments

The Nationals and Phillies seemed like the most logical potential suitors for free agent center fielder Michael Bourn when this offseason got underway.

But the Nats traded for Denard Span and the Phils traded for Ben Revere, both from the Twins. Which has everybody wondering where Bourn will now land.

Here’s one theory — if we can call it that — from the well-connected Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:

It will be interesting to see where Bourn’s market goes. Some believe the Yankees are quietly interested and will pounce if the price comes down, which would give them the leadoff hitter they have wanted for some time.

Cafardo also mentions the Rangers — who are desperate for some kind of splash — as a “possibility.”

The Yankees are trying to get their payroll under $189 million by the start of the 2014 season to avoid another luxury tax hit and haven’t seriously engaged any free agents who are thought to be seeking long-term deals. But Bourn might ultimately come pretty cheap, and he does fit one of the Bombers’ primary needs.

Bourn batted .274/.348/.391 with a career-high nine home runs and 57 RBI across 703 plate appearances this past season for the Braves. The fleet-footed 29-year-old also stole 42 bases in 55 attempts.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
2 Comments

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.