Orioles sign Xavier Paul

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One day after trading Danny Valencia for outfielder David Lough the Orioles have added some more outfield depth, with Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reporting that they’ve agreed to a minor-league deal with Xavier Paul.

Paul has bounced around a lot without getting a ton of extended chances, hitting .254 with 12 homers and a .692 OPS in 746 total plate appearances through age 28.

He’s always hit well in the minors, including a lifetime .323 batting average at Triple-A, and is certainly capable of being a productive part-timer or left-handed bench bat.

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.