The A's are talking with Adrian Beltre

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The Justin Duchscherer-to-the-A’s thing makes sense to me. He’s cheap and he’s familiar and even if things get sideways sometimes this season, he’d be easy to trade or release.

But Adrian Beltre?

It’s being reported that the A’s are talking to him too (Buster Olney says it’s a “serious look”).  Which seems kind of nuts given that he’s a Boras client who thinks he’s due a minimum of $10 million over several years.  Are the A’s really going to do something like that?  Though the unraveling of the Mike Lowell trade might have made Beltre’s assumed landing spot a bit more complicated — which may have inspired Billy Beane to place a phone call –I’d be shocked if him and Oakland went anywhere.

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.