Despite waiver claim, an A’s-Rays trade for Yunel Escobar unlikely

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Yesterday the Athletics claimed Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar off revocable waivers. The two teams have until 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday to work out a trade. And, despite the fact that the teams seem to matchup pretty well on paper — the Rays got a younger, cheaper infielder in Nick Franklin from Seattle, the A’s lost Jed Lowrie to an injury — Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times says that a trade is unlikely.

Mostly because the Rays aren’t treating Franklin like a shortstop. They’ve been playing him at second base at Durham. And the Mariners, it should be worth noting, played him at second far more often than short in the bigs as well, even though he played more short in the minor leagues.

Escobar is under contract through 2016 with a club option for 2017. Looks like he’ll be doing that as a Tampa Bay Ray.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.