Jonny Venters, dealing with a sore left elbow, will see Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday. Though it’s never a good sign when your pitcher has to stop by Andrews’ office, the Braves aren’t worried yet. Via David O’Brien:
The Braves are cautiously optimistic about their lefty setup man, but didn’t want to speculate much about the injury.
“It seems like a sprain of some sort, or strain,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “We’ll let Jim Andrews tell us what his findings are once he sees him. Until Jim sees him, we just won’t know.”
Over the last three seasons, Venters has established himself as one of the best lefty relievers in the game, posting an aggregate 2.23 ERA in 230 innings. Though losing Venters hurts, the Braves still have two other lefties in the bullpen in Eric O’Flaherty and Luis Avilan.
Another big free agent domino has fallen at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Third baseman Anthony Rendon is signing with the Angels on seven-year, $245 million contract, per Jon Heyman.
Rendon, 29, was the top free agent position player. He’s coming off of a season in which he helped the Nationals win their first championship, batting .319/.412/.598 with a league-high 126 RBI and an NL-best 44 doubles along with 34 home runs and 117 runs scored in 646 plate appearances. Rendon also continued to play solid defense at third base. During the postseason, Rendon hit .328/.412/.590 with seven doubles, three homers, 15 RBI, and 11 runs scored in 75 trips to the plate.
The Angels badly needed to make a big free agent splash this offseason, and third base was as good a place as any to do it. Rendon will now slot easily into the middle of the Angels’ lineup along with Mike Trout. It remains to be seen if the Angels are done making moves, but they could use a corner outfielder and another starting pitcher.
Humorously, Rendon has said he’d like to retire by age 35, as Jesse Daugherty of the Washington Post alluded to on the Nationals Talk Podcast. This contract will take him through his age-36 season.