San Francisco picked up a potential backup infielder by claiming Tony Abreu off waivers from Kansas City today.
Abreu spent most of last season at Triple-A, but got into 22 games for the Royals and has 464 career plate appearances in the majors, hitting .252 with a .635 OPS.
Even for a utility infielder that isn’t much production, but the 28-year-old switch-hitter has done some nice work in the minors, batting .324 in 355 games at Triple-A to suggest he might be capable of more offensively.
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.