Texas couldn’t find a trade it liked for Julio Borbon after designating him for assignment last week, so now the Rangers have lost him on waivers for nothing.
Borbon just posted on Twitter that he was claimed by the Cubs, who’ll give him a look as a backup outfielder.
Borbon’s stock has dropped in the past couple seasons, but he’s still a speedy 27-year-old center fielder with a .283 batting average in the majors and a .304 batting average at Triple-A. He doesn’t offer much power or plate discipline, but as far as reserve outfielders go Borbon is a solid one.
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.