Will Venable was already under team control through 2015, but Corey Brock of MLB.com reports the Padres have signed the outfielder to a two-year, $8.5 million deal that buys out his final two seasons of arbitration eligibility.
Venable didn’t debut until age 25 and didn’t become a regular until age 27, so he’s old for a player with his level of service time. Which is why it wouldn’t have made much sense for the Padres to go past two more seasons with a good but not great player who’s already 30.
Venable is having a career-year, hitting .273 with 20 homers, 15 steals, and an .818 OPS in 129 games and this way the Padres get some cost certainty. He’s making $2.68 million this year.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers have signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Gomez will earn $11.5 million next season.
Gomez, 31, struggled with the Astros to a .594 OPS before the club released him in mid-August. The Rangers signed him shortly thereafter and were immediately rewarded. Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 130 plate appearances through the end of the regular season.
As presently constructed, Gomez would likely take over in center field with Nomar Mazara handling left and Shin-Soo Choo in right.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Rodney, 39, has been inconsistent over the past two seasons. This past season, he was lights-out with the Padres, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. After the Marlins acquired him at the end of June, he struggled to a 5.89 ERA in 39 appearances.
Brad Ziegler, who closed for the Diamondbacks in the first half last season, went to the Red Sox in a midseason trade and is now a free agent. The Diamondbacks had six other relievers register a save, but only Daniel Hudson and Jake Barrett recorded more than one. Adding Rodney will give the club some stability in the ninth inning.