Justin Morneau caught the first plane that he could after learning he had been traded to the Pirates on Saturday afternoon, but the Twins were down in Arlington, Texas and the first baseman didn’t make it to Pittsburgh’s PNC Park in time for the start of Saturday night’s game against the Cardinals. Instead he showed up in the Bucs’ dugout — bats and glove in hand — just before the top of the sixth inning.
Watch him greet his new manager, Clint Hurdle, the Pirates’ training staff and some of his new Bucs teammates — including old Twins teammate Francisco Liriano:
The Pirates beat St. Louis 7-1 and now boast a one-game lead in the National League Central.
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.