Rumors, rumors, rumors

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Fox’s Ken Rosenthal — who either (a) spends 22 hours a day on the phone; or (b) just makes stuff up all of the time, has a rundown today of the potential buyers and sellers at the deadline.
In the former category he places the White Sox, Astros, and the
Marlins. In the latter he has the Indians, Rockies and Mariners. Among
the player-specific tidbits are the Cardinals being interested in Mark
DeRosa, the Rockies shopping Jason Marquis and Huston Street, and the
Marlins considering dealing Jorge Cantu, Dan Uggla and Jeremy Hermida
if and when they fall out of contention.

Rosenthal says that Street could foment a feeding frenzy. He rated
Matt Holliday last year, so God knows what the Rockies could get for
him now. Likewise, if history holds, I would expect someone to overpay
for Jason Marquis, because this is the time of year when people get a
little crazy and focus on the most recent couple of months while
forgetting everything a player did in the past. Rosenthal doesn’t
mention it, but there are rumors that Colorado wants to deal Brad Hawpe
too. If all of that is true, there is a chance that the Rockies could
come away from the deadline is the biggest winner of all. That is if
Dan O’Dowd doesn’t screw things up. Again.

All in all, nothing too sexy here, but hey, the crazy season is still young.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.