Jon Lester takes out full-page ad to thank Red Sox fans

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After nine years, 110 wins and two world championships with the Red Sox, Jon Lester was traded to Oakland prior to Thursday’s trade deadline. On Sunday, he took out a full-page ad in the Boston Globe to thank Red Sox Nation for the memories.

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It doesn’t really seem like the action of a pitcher who is set to re-sign with a club in free agency, though Lester was quoted in the Globe, saying he hasn’t ruled that out.

“Anything is possible,” Lester stated. “Obviously that’s still my family. I still got a lot of guys over there that I consider my family. I think when it comes down to it, if they [Red Sox front office] are competitive and we feel like it’s right, then absolutely, the relationship could continue.”

Lester notched a win in his A’s debut Saturday after allowing three runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Royals.

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.