Juan Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel reports that while the Marlins have upped their offer for Aroldis Chapman, their offer is not the highest and they are hoping that his comfort level in South Florida helps make up the difference. I guess I understand the Cuban-player-in-Miami thing, but Chapman has played ball all over the world and is, technically speaking, a resident of Andorra. I think he’ll find a way to adjust even if he’s not in Miami.
So where will he go? Rodriguez reports that the Angels and Blue Jays have the highest offers out to the lefty, both in the $21 million range. Chapman, Rodriguez says, is expected to make a decision in the next three or four days.
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.