As expected Stephen Drew cleared waivers in a procedural move, allowing the Red Sox to send the newly re-signed shortstop to Single-A Greenville.
Drew is expected to spend about 10 days in the minors, likely moving up to Double-A or Triple-A early next week.
After waiting for better offers that never arrived–or, if you believe agent Scott Boras, turning down multi-year offers–Drew signed a one-year deal to return to the Red Sox for a prorated share of the $14.1 million qualifying offer that he turned down at the beginning of the offseason. That comes out to around $10 million and he’ll end up missing the first two months of the season.
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.