Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that the Marlins are interested in Vernon Wells.
Wells was released by the Yankees after hitting just .233/.282/.349 with 11 homers over 130 games last year. And that was after a relatively fast start. He has surprised folks before with little bouncebacks, but at 35 it’s not a great bet to expect that he’ll be particularly useful going forward.
Of course he costs virtually nothing and could quite possibly be had on a minor league deal now. If you’re looking for a right-handed bench bat/backup outfielder you could probably do worse. Not much worse, but by all accounts Wells is a nice person, so there’s that.
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.