A’s get Craig Gentry from Rangers for Michael Choice

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Not afraid to trade within the division the A’s and Rangers have agreed to a deal that sends 30-year-old center fielder Craig Gentry to Oakland and outfield prospect Michael Choice to Texas, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

Gentry is incredibly fast and a fantastic defensive center fielder with a .280 batting average and .355 on-base percentage in 323 career games, although those totals likely overstate his offensive ability because he’s typically been platooned a lot.

Choice was the 10th overall pick in the 2010 draft, ranked as a consensus top-100 prospect coming into this year, and hit .302 with 14 homers and an .835 OPS in 132 games at Triple-A as a 23-year-old.

Between this deal and adding a $10 million closer in Jim Johnson the A’s are clearly in win-now mode.

UPDATE: Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the A’s will also get right-hander Josh Lindblom and the Rangers will also get minor league infielder Chris Bostick.

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.