Athletics sign switch-pitcher Pat Venditte

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From agent Marc Klingman comes word that Pat Venditte, a switch-pitcher who can throw both left-handed and right-handed, has signed a minor league contract with the Oakland A’s. The deal also carries an invitation to major league spring training.

Venditte was selected by the Yankees in the 20th round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft out of Creighton University and posted a promising 2.46 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 10.1 K/9 across 384 2/3 innings in the Yanks’ minor league system, but he went six years without getting called to New York.

Venditte is going to have a tough time cracking Oakland’s deep and talented bullpen out of spring training, but the 29-year-old is a very unique talent and should get a shot eventually at the big league level. Here’s some video of him confusing the opposition (and an umpire) a few years ago at short-season Staten Island:

Cubs designate Brett Anderson for assignment

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The Cubs announced on Wednesday that pitcher Brett Anderson was activated from the 60-day disabled list and subsequently designated for assignment to open up a spot on the 40-man roster.

Anderson, 29, had been out since May 7 with a lower back strain. Across six starts prior to the injury, the lefty yielded 20 earned runs on 34 hits and 12 walks with 16 strikeouts in 22 innings. He has logged just 33 1/3 innings over the last two seasons and has crossed the 50-inning threshold just since dating back to 2011.

Despite his lengthy injury history, Anderson will likely still draw some interest once he becomes a free agent as he throws with his left hand and can be had for the major league minimum salary.

Dilson Herrera has season-ending surgery

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Reds infielder Dilson Herrera will undergo surgery to remove bone spurs from his right shoulder. His season is over.

Herrera, you may recall, was acquired from the Mets in the Jay Bruce trade last year. He played in 49 games for the Mets, but spent all of last year and this year in the minors. In parts of seven minor league seasons he’s hit .295/.357/.461 with 67 homers and 87 stolen bases in 631 games.

Herrera, one time a top-5 prospect of the Mets, was expected to play in the bigs this year, but hasn’t. He was expected to challenge for the starting second base job for the Reds next year, but that’s obviously in doubt now. The worst part: he’ll be out of minor league options next year, so the Reds will be pressured to either put him on the big league roster fresh off an injury or else risk losing him via waivers, which I suspect he’d be unlikely to clear.