Jonny Venters has a torn UCL, halting comeback from third Tommy John surgery

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Rays reliever Jonny Venters suffered a torn UCL, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The lefty is deciding whether to retire or undergo a fourth Tommy John surgery.

Venters, 31, had been on a rehab assignment with Single-A Charlotte, his first time pitching in pro ball since 2012. He made four appearances in the span of 11 days from June 4-14. He then took six days off. He faced just one batter in his final appearance on June 20, giving up a single.

Venters was one of baseball’s most feared relievers in 2010 and ’11 with the Braves. In his rookie season in ’10, he finished with a 1.95 ERA and a 93/39 K/BB ratio in 83 innings. The next season, he finished with a 1.84 ERA and a 96/43 K/BB ratio in 88 innings, leading the league with 85 appearances.

You have to feel for Venters. He has battled valiantly to get back to the majors, but his elbow just hasn’t agreed.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year deal with Astros

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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu is scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.