Brewers sign Jeremy Hermida and Joe Thurston to minor league deals

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The Brewers Player Development Department reported on Twitter that the team signed outfielders Jeremy Hermida and Joe Thurston to minor league deals.

Hermida, who turns 30 on Thursday, has been besieged by injuries, including a sports hernia suffered at the end of April 2012. In 2013, he worked his way back with Triple-A Columbus, an affiliate of the Indians, posting a .781 OPS in 567 plate appearances.

Thurston, 34, has not played in the Majors since 2011. He spent last season between Lancaster of the Atlantic League and Yucatan of the Mexican League.

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.