Mark Purdy of the Mercury News has a good, detailed story that cuts through a lot of the fog about the future of the Athletics in Oakland. Which, he notes, is inextricably tied up with the Raiders’ future in Oakland. Put simply, the city can have one team, but not the other for a lot of complicated but, ultimately, compelling reasons.
The A’s, it seems, are going to build a new stadium on the site of the Coliseum or they’re going to play in a different city. There seems no escaping that fact. Major League Baseball, therefore, needs to be sure that there is a city that it and every other owner can get behind if the Raiders get what they want before the A’s get what they want.
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.