Angels release injured reliever Ryan Madson

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Ryan Madson’s tenure with the Angels is officially over. According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, the team announced this evening that the injured reliever has been released.

After missing the entire 2012 season following Tommy John surgery, Madson signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Angels last November. The plan called for him to serve as the team’s closer this season, but numerous setbacks with his surgically-repaired elbow prevented him from ever pitching for the club. The closest he got was a single minor league rehab appearance back on May 13.

Gonzalez reported at the end of July that Madson’s rehab had “plateaued again,” so it’s highly unlikely we’ll hear from him again this season. The 32-year-old hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since the NLDS in 2011, so he’s not going to have another multi-million dollar contract waiting for him this winter.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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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.