3:45pm: Venable has passed his physical, and GM Mike Chernoff has confirmed the deal, as MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian tweets. In his column below, Meisel notes that Venable and Chernoff were teammates in their college days at Princeton.
12:40pm: ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that Venable will receive a $1.5MM base salary and can earn up to $2MM worth of performance bonuses (Twitter link).
9:30am: Venable will take a physical with the Indians today, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com tweets. Via Zack Meisel of Cleveland.com, Venable will receive a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite.
7:46am: Outfielder Will Venable will be in camp with the Indians today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes (Twitter links). That suggests that player and team have agreed to terms on a contract of some sort, although Rosenthal does not say that specifically. Venable is a client of Turner Gary Sports.
The Indians can use the outfield depth Venable will provide, particularly with Michael Brantley dealing with a shoulder injury. Brantley hopes to be ready in time for Opening Day, but if not, Venable could give the team a left-handed hitter to pair with Rajai Davis in left field until Brantley returns to the lineup.
The 33-year-old Venable hit .244/.320/.350 in 390 plate appearances in 2015, hitting passably in San Diego and then fading down the stretch after an August trade to the Rangers. His power output has faded since a 22-homer outburst with the Padres in 2013, although he maintains decent value due to his baserunning (he had 16 steals in 2015 while only being caught once) and his ability to play all three outfield positions. The longtime Padre has a career .251/.317/.406 line in parts of eight big-league seasons.