No official announcement has been made, but Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that Braves setup man Jonny Venters is expected to have Tommy John elbow surgery after meeting with Dr. James Andrews.
This would be Venters’ second Tommy John surgery, with the first coming in 2005 when he was a 20-year-old at low Single-A. He’ll miss the remainder of this season and likely a big chunk of next year as well.
Venters has been overshadowed in the Braves’ bullpen by closer Craig Kimbrel, but he had an incredibly dominant stretch from 2010-2012 in which he threw 230 innings with a 2.23 ERA, .212 opponents’ batting average, and 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings. And he was ridden very, very hard by manager Fredi Gonzalez.
UPDATE: Venters had the surgery this afternoon.
The Orioles have re-signed infielder Pedro Alvarez to a minor league deal, per a report from Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. The deal guarantees Alvarez $1 million if he makes the 40-man roster and another $2 million in potential performance bonuses. The team has yet to confirm the deal.
This will be Alvarez’s third year with the Orioles. After posting decent numbers in 2016, the 31-year-old was relegated to the minors for the majority of the 2017 season and saw only 14 games at the big league level. He finished the year with an underwhelming .239/.294/.442 batting line and 26 home runs through 595 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk.
Alvarez is expected to split his time between first base and DH this spring, and MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli notes that he’s unlikely to experiment with another outfield role. While he isn’t too far removed from his last productive season in the majors, the veteran infielder will function purely as insurance for first baseman Chris Davis and designated hitter Mark Trumbo and will likely begin the season in the minors.