Blue Jays sign Ryan Rowland-Smith

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Let go earlier this week after making six appearances for the Diamondbacks, left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.

Rowland-Smith’s action for Arizona was his first in the majors since 2010 with Seattle, but the 31-year-old has a 4.74 ERA in 370 career innings and has generally been pretty effective as a middle reliever.

His contract with the Blue Jays includes a June 1 opt-out clause if he’s not in the majors by then.

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.