I just read that Travis Hafner was activated by the Yankees and I legitimately thought “wait, Travis Hafner still plays?” The stuff where he did moderately well for the Yankees for the first part of the season seemed like two years ago and I swore I remember an interview with him from this summer in which he talked about how he’s all about fishing and stuff now.
But he’s back. After missing action since July with a bum rotator cuff. For the year he’s at .205/.300/.384, which probably means you shouldn’t blink while he plays out the string in New York, because this is probably the last we’ll see of him.
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.