In the midst of a buyer's market…

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boras.jpgMASN’s Roch Kubatko thinks some of the remaining free agents on the market should consider lowering their asking prices.

Adrian Beltre, for instance, is still seeking $10-$15 million annually.  Plenty of teams are interested in the defensively stellar third baseman, but not at that price.  Adam LaRoche is rumored to be asking for a three-year, $30 million deal.  He’s out of his mind if he thinks that’s coming.  Ben Sheets reportedly wants $12 million, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch since September of 2008.

With so many free agents still looking for employment, baseball’s vaunted free agency period has suddenly blossomed into a buyer’s market and teams aren’t going to fork over major multi-year deals.  Even Matt Holliday and Jason Bay are struggling to find offers that appeal to them.

Most of us saw this coming.  Revenues are down all over the league and team philosophies have shifted more toward development.  But super-agent Scott Boras seems plenty surprised and a whole lot of veteran players are going to be jobless come March and April.

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.