Not a creature was stirring . . .

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Christmas Tree.jpgOr tweeting, even.  Yes, even the hyperactive hot stove season sleeps sometimes, and it appears as though it has gone to sleep for Christmas as of late this morning.  Oh, someone may still be doing some last minute shopping — at least one store is open, with plenty left on the shelves — but most of anyone who matters in baseball is home with their families enjoying some quiet time. As they should be.  And as you should too, if you’re able and fortunate enough to do so.

If someone gets restless and decides to do something — there are still some relievers Anaheim hasn’t signed yet — one of us will do a quick post about it, but as for now, we’re knocking off.

I can’t speak for Aaron, Matthew, D.J. or Bob, but later this evening I’ll be pouring some brown liquor over ice and watching Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed do their thing.  Then I’m going to go to sleep, hoping that Santa Claus brings my Braves Matt Holliday with some insane back-loaded contract or something.  Hope you get what you asked for too.

Merry Christmas, everyone.   

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.