In camp on a minor-league deal, right-hander David Aardsma was told that he wouldn’t be making the Indians’ bullpen and asked for his release.
Aardsma has struggled to stay healthy since topping 30 saves in back-to-back seasons for the Mariners in 2009 and 2010, logging a total of 41 innings from 2011-2013. He had a 4.31 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 40 innings for the Mets last season, but walked 19 batters and served up seven homers.
Aardsma will probably have to spend some time at Triple-A to convince a team he’s ready to help, but at age 32 getting back to the majors in a middle relief role seems doable.
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.