It wasn’t a guarantee that Jonny Venters would remain a member of the Atlanta Braves heading into the 2014 season, but according to one report, he isn’t going anywhere.
#Braves agreed to terms w/ reliever Jonny Venters on a 1-yr deal, avoiding arb. Coming back from 2nd TJ surgery, should be back April/May.
— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) November 13, 2013
Later, O’Brien reported the terms of the deal, and Venters will be making his exact salary from 2013, $1.625 million for the season. This is an interesting move for Atlanta, as it is inherently risking thanks to the fact that he’s coming off a 2nd career-threatening surgery.
However, Venters has extremely high upside, as he has been one of the more dominant relief pitchers in the game in recent seasons. His career ERA of 2.23 is sparkling on its own, but when you throw in 2 different seasons with a sub-2.00 ERA over 79+ appearances and a career strikeout rate of 10.11 K’s per 9 innings, you have a real monster.
For the Braves, they would be wise to take a “wait and see” approach to Venters early in the season, as TJ candidates notoriously struggle with command in the early stages, and Venters’ control has always been his achilles heel. Either way, though, he could easily earn this money back in short order.