Nats probably made an offer to Strasburg; Boras, as always, waits

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The Washington Post’s Chico Harlan, citing “industry observers,” believes that the Nats have made “a significant offer” to Stephen Strasburg. But noting that Scott Boras’ m.o. is to do everything at the last minute, he expects nothing to happen until Monday.  Which, by the way, is signing deadline day.

Boras seems to have more and more high picks each year, and plays this 11th hour game with all of them.  People credited him with bleeding edge savvy in connection with the maybe late, maybe not Pedro Alvarez deal last year, but I can’t help but think that was a result of mere sloppiness borne of having too many balls in the air at the same, critical time.

One of these years he’s going to screw that calculus up major, and a client is going to get royally boned.  When he does, the whole Boras empire will come crumbling down, because unlike a lot of other agents, it’s based totally on his effectiveness, not on fuzzy relationship stuff.

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.