GM says Tigers 'a long shot' to re-sign Rodney

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After shedding payroll in the form of Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson yesterday, general manager Dave Dombrowski described the Tigers’ chances of re-signing closer Fernando Rodney as “a long shot.”
Rodney’s primary setup man, Brandon Lyon, somehow snookered the Astros into giving him a three-year, $15 million deal last night, and Dombrowski indicated that Rodney has also received several multi-year offers that the Tigers “are not prepared to” match. Philadelphia has been linked to Rodney since early last month, so they’re likely one of the teams making a serious run at him.

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.