On Sunday, the Twins designated outfielder Jason Kubel for assignment to make room for newcomer Kendrys Morales on the roster. Kubel cleared waivers on Friday, and just rejected an assignment to Triple-A Rochester, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports. As a result, the Twins are expected to release Kubel.
Kubel, 32, slashed a disappointing .224/.313/.295 with one home run and 13 RBI in 176 plate appearances for the Twins. The club had signed him to a minor league deal in December and he earned a major league salary of $2 million after the Twins selected his contract at the end of March. The ten-year veteran should still draw some interest as he can serve as a left-handed bench bat.
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.