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Braves acquire Jonny Venters from Rays for international slot money

The Braves bring back an old friend to bolster their bullpen.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Washington Nationals Photo by Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves have acquired lefty reliever Jonny Venters from the Rays in exchange for international slot money, as the team announced late Thursday night:

According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the Rays will get back $250,000 in international bonus money.

The 33-year-old Venters began his career with the Braves — in fact, before this season, they were the only team he had played for at the major-league level. He was a crucial member of their bullpen from 2010-12 and posted ERAs under 2.00 with 80-plus innings pitched in each of his first two seasons. He missed the entire 2013-15 seasons due to injury and did not pitch in the majors during the 2016-17 campaigns. He’s been an incredible example of perseverence, as he’s undergone what he describes as “three-and-a-half” Tommy John surgeries.

This season, in his first big-league action in six years, Venters has posted a 3.86 ERA and 1.21 WHIP with 11 strikeouts and six walks over 14 innings spread over 22 innings. However, his numbers look absolutely dominant if you take out a disastrous June 6 start that he made as part of the Rays’ “opener” experiment, during which he gave up five runs over 0.1 innings. When used as a reliever, Venters has a 0.66 ERA and 0.88 WHIP.

Venters is the third pitcher the Rays have traded off their major-league roster in the last two days, joining Nathan Eovaldi, who was dealt to Boston, and Matt Andriese, who was traded to Arizona.