Royals sign outfielder Endy Chavez

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Endy Chavez has agreed to a deal with the Royals, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

Chavez had a nice bounceback season with the Rangers in 2011 after missing all of 2010, but then hit just .203 with a .515 OPS in 64 games for the Orioles this year.

He also hit just .147 in 15 games at Triple-A and turns 35 years old in February, so Chavez is purely backup outfielder material.

UPDATE: It’s a minor-league deal, not surprisingly.

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.