The Toronto Blue Jays signed reliever Pat Venditte to a contract after claiming him off waivers from the Oakland Athletics. They designated Darwin Barney for assignment to make room for him.
Venditte was no great shakes in the bigs in his first season, posting a 4.40 ERA in 28 and two-thirds innings while striking out 23 and walking 12. But he’s fun at least given that he’s ambidextrous and throws with each arm. If only he threw with them a bit better, he’d have a better chance to stick someplace.
He’ll not be on the Blue Jays’ playoff roster, of course. But he has already gifted Jays beat writers an easy story next spring by virtue of his presence at training camp in Dunedin.
Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports that the Red Sox are nearing an agreement with pitcher Zack Godley. It is still unclear whether the contract will be of the minor or major league variety.
Godley, 30, was with the Tigers on a minor league contract but the club released him in early April. The right-hander pitched for the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays last season, amassing 92 innings with a 5.97 ERA and a 70/42 K/BB ratio. Godley was quite solid for the D-Backs in 2017, posting a 3.37 ERA over 155 innings, so the Red Sox are hoping to see that version of him.
The Red Sox need starting pitching depth with Chris Sale out for the year due to Tommy John surgery and Eduardo Rodríguez sidelined because of a positive COVID-19 test. Collin McHugh is also still on the mend from an elbow injury. The starting rotation at the moment includes Nathan Eovaldi, Martín Pérez, Ryan Weber, and Brian Johnson. It is certainly the club’s biggest weakness.
The Red Sox open up the 2020 regular season at home against the Orioles on July 24. Eovaldi would seem to be the one to get the Opening Day nod. Godley could slot in anywhere else in the rotation, from No. 2 to 5.