In the wake of Mark Teixeira’s right wrist injury, the Yankees contacted Derrek Lee to see if he would be interested in coming out of retirement to fill in at first base. However, they are going to have to go back to the drawing board.
Lee is just the latest retired player to turn down the Yankees, joining former Braves third baseman Chipper Jones. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confirmed to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com that he also reached out to Scott Rolen, but he got the impression that he will not play this season.
Assuming the Yankees stick to internal options, they could go with Dan Johnson, Juan Rivera or Kevin Youkilis at first base. If Youkilis plays first, Jayson Nix, Eduardo Nunez and Ronnier Mustelier are among the possibilities to fill in at third.
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.