Mike Puma of the New York post reports that free agent Corey Hart is drawing interest from the Mets. As are a dozen other teams, apparently undeterred by Hart’s multiple knee surgeries.
The Mets seem like an odd pursuer. They have a lot of first base types with Ike Davis and Lucas Duda. Of course one or both of them could be traded if they got Hart. Not that the Mets have been too big on higher-priced players in recent years.
For what it’s worth, Hart may have missed a season with a bum knee, but his previous three he hit around 30 homers a year, so someone somewhere is likely to offer him a multi-year deal.
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.