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Angels to sign Michael Bourn to a minor league deal

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The Angels are expected to sign free agent center fielder Michael Bourn to a minor league deal, per a report by SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Bourn will be assigned to Triple-A Salt Lake, where he’ll come alongside a core of outfielders that includes Forrestt Allday, Ramon Flores and Bo Way.

Bourn, 34, was last seen with the Orioles earlier this season. He batted .220/.373/.317 through 11 games for Triple-A Norfolk before opting for free agency in May. His minor league contract followed a fairly successful major league run with the Orioles and Diamondbacks in 2016, during which he slashed a collective .264/.314/.371 with 24 extra base hits and 15 stolen bases in 413 PA.

With both Mike Trout (torn UCL in left thumb) and Cameron Maybin (left oblique contusion) on the disabled list, the Angels are looking to replenish their outfield reserves. While Bourn awaits his next major league stint, veteran outfielders Shane Robinson and Eric Young Jr. will provide the big league club with some immediate relief as the Angels prepare for the next 6-8 weeks without their MVP center fielder.

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.