Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register reports that the Angels have signed Brandon Lyon to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. He’ll compete for bullpen spot.
Lyon had a 4.98 ERA in 34 innings for the Mets last season, while suffering from decreased velocity. He was much better in 2012, however, whne he posted a 3.10 ERA and 63/20 K/BB ratio in 61 innings for the Astros and Blue Jays.
In other news: Brandon Lyon is a member of a major league team. Stephen Drew, Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana are not.
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.